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Romesh Silva, PhD

Assistant Scientist

Departmental Affiliation(s):

International Health

Center & Institute Affiliation(s):

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8620
Baltimore , Maryland   21205



PhD , University of California, Berkeley , 2013
MA , University of California, Berkeley , 2007
MIA , Columbia University , 2003


Romesh Silva, PhD is a demographer. His research focuses on the use of demographic methods in the study of vulnerable populations. His work spans the measurement of violence against civilians in armed conflict, the development of information systems to monitor human rights violations in unsettled environments, and measurement of child and adult mortality in low-resource settings. He has led research projects in India, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Chad, Lebanon, and Bangladesh and contributed to projects in Palestine, Colombia, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Somalia, and Liberia. He is currently the technical lead for a five country study that is developing rapid mortality measurement methods for use in low-resource settings that lack comprehensive vital registration systems.

Romesh has consulted to the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, UN Development Program, Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, The Asia Foundation, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Center for Civilians in Conflict, International Center for Transitional Justice, and USAID’s Office on Transitional Initiatives. He has also served on the National Academy of Science’s expert panel on Darfur to review mortality estimates on Darfur, Sudan and serves on the advisory board of Ensaaf, the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Scientific Freedom & Human Rights, and editorial board of the journal Conflict & Health.

Honors and Awards

Research Fellow, Human Rights Center - University of California, Berkeley (2013-2016)

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, Graduate Student Instructor Teaching & Resource Center, University of California, Berkeley (2013)

National Institute of Child Health & Development Training Fellowship (2011-2012)

John L. Simpson Research Fellowship in International and Comparative Studies, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley (2010-2011)

Wray Jackson Smith Memorial Award, Social Statistics Section, American Statistical Association (2007)

University of California Regents Intern Fellowship (2006-2010)

Lionel Murphy Overseas Postgraduate Award, Lionel Murphy Foundation (2006-2010)

Demographic Methods; Mortality; Civil Registration; Demography of Armed Conflict; Health and Human Rights; Forced Displacement; Famine Demography; Indirect Estimation Methods.

    Select publications:

  • Jeff Klingner and Romesh Silva (2013). “Combining Found Data and Surveys to Measure Conflict Mortality.” in Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict, ed. by Taylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, and Baruch Fischhoff. Oxford University Press, p. 147-164.

  • Silva, Romesh (2012) Child Mortality Estimation: Consistency of Under-Five Mortality Rate Estimates Using Full Birth Histories and Summary Birth Histories. PLoS Med 9(8): e1001296.

  • Silva, Romesh & Jeff Klingner (2011)  “Quantitative Social Science Methods” In Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice. Eds. Lavinia Stan and Nadya Nedelsky. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press

  • Silva, Romesh & Megan Price (2011) “Indirect Sampling to Measure Conflict Violence: Trade-offs in pursuit of data that are good, cheap, and fast” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol 306, No. 5, pp. 547-548.

  • Silva, Romesh and Patrick Ball. (2007) "The Demography of Conflict-Related Mortality in Timor-Leste (1974-1999): Empirical Quantitative Measurement of Civilian Killings, Disappearances & Famine-Related Deaths” In Statistical Methods for Human Rights, J. Asher, D. Banks and F. Scheuren, eds., Springer (New York), p. 117-139.