This awardee has received supplemental funding. This award detail page includes information about both the original award and supplemental awards.
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $398,824)
The objective of this project is to: build and pilot a methodology for a social-media based human terrain study of gangs operating in San Diego, Tijuana, Honduras and El Salvador designed to generate insights on to gang activities including, but not limited to, sex trafficking.The project has two goals. First, the project will produce a social media-based human terrain study examining gangs operating in San Diego, Tijuana, Honduras and El Salvador. The study will include enumerating communities, key communicators, key messages, and mapping boundary conditions including themes, memes, and criteria for a broader pattern of life analysis of gang and gang communities. Second, the project will identify key indicators that can be tracked over time and that can provide relevant insights on gang activity, membership, motivations, recruitment patterns, etc., and specifically those that can be identified or linked to sex trafficking.The project will build upon SecDev's previous work in large-scale social media collection, analysis, and modeling focused on high-risk actors. The overall project research design will employ a spiral approach in which each activity/phase will follow a sequence of plan, act and observe, and reflect. Collection and analysis of social media data will be accomplished through the use of two complementary methods: very large-scale conversation mapping and geotemporal monitoring. The project will inform policy through new insights on gangs, gang culture, and gang activity observable through large-scale social media analysis.
Additionally, the project will enhance operational practice and effectiveness by developing relevant and trackable key indicators that complement existing intelligence on gang activity, and can enhance counter-gang activities including policing and early intervention with at-risk communities, with specific reference to sex trafficking. Key indicators will be built into web browser-based dashboards capturing relevant law enforcement PIR/CIRs.