Home » Additional Features

Statistics Without Borders Pushes Forward

1 January 2010 7,410 views 7 Comments

Statistics Without Borders (SWB) has made great strides as an organization in the past several months. This ASA-affiliated group, which now includes nearly 100 volunteers, provides pro bono statistical expertise to organizations working on problems broadly related to international health issues. The mission statement recently adopted by SWB states the following:

Statistics Without Borders is an apolitical organization under the auspices of the American Statistical Association, comprised entirely of volunteers, that provides pro bono statistical consulting and assistance to organizations and government agencies in support of these organizations’ not-for-profit efforts to deal with international health issues (broadly defined). Our vision is to achieve better statistical practice, including statistical analysis and design of experiments and surveys, so that international health projects and initiatives are delivered more effectively and efficiently.

Since its inception in October of 2008, members of SWB have been busy with the following:

For more information about SWB or to offer project suggestions, contact SWB co-chairs Gary Shapiro (g.shapiro4@verizon.net) or James J. Cochran (jcochran@cab.latech.edu) or visit the SWB website.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • David Fitch said:

    Dear People,

    I’d be pleased to be a part of SWB. I guess trying to understand world problems has been a theme of my life. In 1963, following the Cuban missal crisis my wife and I went to Moscow. Beginning in 1969 our family – 5 children – took a two year assignment in Nigeria. Returning we drove from Morocco to Calcutta via Moscow. Returning to Nigeria I spent two month, for USAID, evaluating the under-fives clinics they were supporting. I learned about all the children that were dying, that shouldn’t be dying. From then I sought to do my statistics thing to help all those poor mothers. This took me to Guatemala, first in 1981, returning repeatedly. In 1988 I retired from the National Center for Health Services Research and the next year moved to my indigenous village home. Now for the three months between the ASA and APHA meetings in the US, with hopes of better understanding of the Muslim world, I’ve been traveling “east of Istanbul”. Last year it was Kabul and this year I’m preparing for Kurdistan. In Kabul I had a little sampling theory course for three MDs. I’d like to do something similar at one of Kurdistan’s three universities. Any ideas? David

  • Jim Cochran said:

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your interest in SWB. You have a very interesting background that certainly could be relevant to potential SWB projects. Please contact me directly at jcochran@cab.latech.edu so we can arrange to discuss this further (and so I can add you to the list of SWB members if you’s like)).

    Best regards,


  • Thembinkosi Matika said:


    My name is Thembinkosi based in Port Elizabeth (South Africa). I am currently working for Statistics South Africa as a District Manager. I did my Diploma in Statistics with East Africa Statistical Training Centre( EASTC-Tanzania) and Bachelor of Statistics with Makerere University (Uganda). I have a keen interest in the field of Statistics, and I would love to be part of this family.


    Thembinkosi Matika (Mr.)

  • RC said:

    Hello everyone,
    After the tragic earthquake in Haiti, I have been thinking of devoting some of my time at the local Red Cross. Going to Haiti and volunteering is not something that is possible for me at this stage of my life, but I wanted to do something to help the people there. I am unsure of how my statistical skills would be of use for the Red Cross. Any thoughts?



  • Jim Cochran said:

    Hi All,

    First, SWB is happy to add Thembinkosi to its membership roster and list serve!

    Second, SWB is currently discussing ways the organization and its volunteer members can assist with the Haitian relief effort. SWB will consider all possibile approaches (including remoote efforts) and will informs its members as potential opportunities to contribute to the Haitian relief effort through our collective statistical expertise arise.

    Best regards,


  • Tim said:

    Hi, my name is Tim. I am looking to make a career change. I want to do something that will help people in a meaningful way. And I think I’m fairly good with math. (And incidentally I am very interested in learning about other cultures). I have been considering the possibility of studying statistics with the idea of working for a non-profit. But I am not so familiar with the field of statistics and all the ways it is used in the real world. Can you give me some sense of what kind of careers/opportunities there might be that would fit my interests/goals? I know this is off-topic, but if you could share any insight, I would appreciate it very much. Thank you.

  • Jim Cochran said:

    Hi Tim,

    I just saw your post – you can email me at the address provided in the article if you would still like to initiate a discussion on a career in statistics.

    Best regards,


    james J. Cochran
    Louisiana Tech University