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I am driven to strengthen human rights organizations around the world

Human rights organizations worldwide must win public support to end abuses and advance reforms. James Ron brings new strength to this global endeavor by pioneering the use of public polling and field experiments to advance human rights.

Training the next generation of activists

James Ron

“I'm seeking to marry the skills and techniques of social science with the goals of human rights.”

James Ron, Associate Professor
Mexico

Mexico City project

James Ron is collaborating with Kassira Absar to help human rights organizations in Mexico City understand what specific causes their local public actually support, so that activists can build self-sustaining human rights communities.

The researchers began by surveying 34 human rights organizations in the city, asking them where they got their money, how they raised it, and what they thought would be the barriers and opportunities for raising money from the public.

Then they surveyed 1,000 local people to see what they actually thought of the human rights groups and whether they’d be willing to donate.

Finally, the researchers did field experiments where they handed out small packets of money and tested whether people were willing to donate to different human rights causes.

Their data, collected over three to four months, is now being analyzed.

The value of asking people

“People have nuanced understandings of things that you had no idea of before you asked the questions.”

James Ron

Why the University of Minnesota?

There’s an interest at the U of M in human rights that I've not seen at the other universities I've worked at. There's a commitment to studying it and a commitment to teaching it.”James Ron
The Humphrey School is a service driven school. Everyone's really passionate about helping. And I think the U of M is special in that way.”Kassira Absar, Research Fellow