Statistical Services Centre

Applied Statistics at the University of Reading
...making sense of statistics

International Development

Click the map to see where in the world we have worked

For over 30 years we have worked with partners throughout the world providing support to research projects and development initiatives.

At the start of August 2016 our International team formed an independent, not-for-profit company: Statistics for Sustainable Development (SSD). We maintain strong links with SSD and the International work continues through them.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Providing research methods support to scientists and scientific institutions
  • Provision of training and capacity building
  • Data management
  • Expert advice on statistical aspects of M&E work
  • Working with climatic information to provide information to local people and institutions that helps in reducing climate related risk

The team has worked with many projects designing studies, establishing efficient data collection operations, quality assurance processes, data analysis and translating statistical results into information that is useful for decision making. We believe that the resources used to gather information that promotes development should be used efficiently and effectively

First-hand Experience

Our experience includes supporting national and international research centres in making optimal use of statistical methods and data collection tools. We have experience of supporting agricultural, livestock, agroforestry, forestry, and in general natural resources research that takes a holistic approach including not only bio-physical aspects but also social, economic, institutional and climatic aspects. This means that while making a contribution as statisticians and data managers, we are aware and can advise on the use of mixed methodologies.

Our international experience includes working with international organisations, NGOs, national and subnational governments to use statistical methods to improve monitoring and evaluation efforts. We routinely advise M&E specialists on statistical aspects of monitoring and evaluation.

Capacity Building

Over the years we have also supported training of statistical officers working for the national statistical systems of their respective countries. The area where we have most experience is the development of training programmes for professional and non-professional staff of national statistical services.

Our approach to consultancy and training emphasises the need for practical and reliable solutions that target the needs of our partners and clients and in consequence are more than happy to work for initiatives that will not lead to academic publications. We understand our role to be to contribute to the advances of statistical methods for the solution of practical problems.

While in our work in the UK and Europe the division between consultancy and training is clear, in our work for international development we often find that consultancy often has an element of capacity building and that training is almost always linked to the need to solve specific problems. We are delighted to contribute to the development of local capacity and consider a success those cases when local capacity has been developed to such an extent that our services are no longer required.

Climatic Work

Members of the team have worked with climatic data for over 40 years. We are particularly interested in the use of historical climatic records to understand climate variability and risk at local level. Climate change has made it more urgent to understand the effect of the global changes at local level in the context of year-to-year variability. The experience accumulated in the early years of our work is enabling the team to bring together the macro and micro data that is needed to understand and manage risk to the livelihoods of many poor people in the world.

Data Management

Data management has been a large component of many of our consultancies particularly in our International Development portfolio. This work includes not just checking for errors in the data but establishing efficient data collection and quality assurance practices and procedures. In recent years our team has developed skills in digital data collection, particularly in the use of Open Data Kit (ODK) for survey and monitoring work.

Page last updated: December 15 2017 16:03:23.