Home » Columns, Stats4Good

Statistics Without Borders: Outstanding Leadership and Projects in Data for Good

1 November 2022 484 views No Comment

David CorlissWith a PhD in statistical astrophysics, David Corliss is lead, Industrial Business Analytics, and manager, Data Science Center of Excellence, Stellantis. He serves on the steering committee for the Conference on Statistical Practice and is the founder of Peace-Work, a volunteer cooperative of statisticians and data scientists providing analytic support for charitable groups and applying statistical methods in issue-driven advocacy.

Matt Brems Matt Brems (he/him) is director of global product and technical excellence at DataRobot. He also founded BetaVector, a data science consultancy. Brems volunteers with Statistics Without Borders, serving on its executive committee as chair.

High-impact projects, volunteer recruiting, development, support, expertly managed projects, and excellent data for good resources freely available to all. By any standard, Statistics Without Borders—an ASA outreach group—is one of the most important Data for Good organizations anywhere.

The idea for Statistics Without Borders grew out of a 2008 JSM panel on activism in global health. That panel—presented by Steve Pierson, Gary Shapiro, Jim Cochran, and Fritz Scheuren—started a conversation that became a project that became a movement.

SWB’s list of important projects touches on an array of needs, all with a common goal: enlisting volunteers to use statistics and data science to make a real difference in the world around us.

More Online
Statistics Without Borders volunteer sign-up form
Statistics Without Borders New client questionnaire
Sierra Leone project

In their largest project to date, SWB is working with the African Institute for Professional Development, a nongovernmental organization based in Rwanda. The institute aims to close the gap between the skills an individual possesses upon completing their training and the skills an employer expects a newly hired employee to have. More than 75 SWB volunteers across six continents have built educational content in statistics/biostatistics, monitoring and evaluation, econometrics, and R programming.

Educational projects are some of the most important D4G activities, making fundamental changes that result in an enduring legacy. SWB has made this content publicly available on their YouTube channel so many can benefit from this knowledge.

This isn’t SWB’s first educational project in the region. They also worked with the Asante Africa Foundation in Kenya and Tanzania.

Another recent SWB partnership is with HelpAge International, a network of 158 organizations driven to “promote the well-being and inclusion of older women and men and reduce poverty and discrimination in later life.” HelpAge sought to better understand sustainable development goals indicators as applied to older individuals in India, Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Ukraine.

Getting Involved
The ASA Social Statistics, Government Statistics, and Survey Research Methods sections are holding a competition for student and post-graduate papers. Winners will present their papers at a topic-contributed session at JSM 2023 in Toronto. Submissions are due December 15.

Statistics Without Borders provided expertise in data disaggregation to develop a clearer picture of these indicators applied to older individuals. SWB also made recommendations for making this work easier in the future, including minimizing the amount of missing data, providing specific guidance for using multiple imputation in the presence of missing data, and increasing coverage of older individuals in future surveys.

Statistics Without Borders is currently recruiting volunteers. The African Institute for Professional Development project is ongoing. Additionally, SWB plans to add more networking events, publish case studies about their work, build partnerships, and complete more projects in the coming year. You do not need to be an ASA member to participate.

SWB is also eager to accept new project ideas and proposals. Organizations interested in seeking statistical support can contact them by filling out the new client questionnaire.

In 2023, Statistics Without Borders will celebrate 15 years of statistical research, educational programs, and ground-breaking projects that make a real difference for the greater good. Watch this space and their website to learn about how the ASA will honor their work during their anniversary year. Most importantly, check out their projects and give some thought to how you can become a part of making a difference for the greater good.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.