One of ASRI’s goals is to improve social science research by building capacity in quantitative analysis. In pursuit of that goal, ASRI has worked collectively with our South African and Ghanaian partners to provide short-term training in research methods and analysis. Currently, ASRI members coordinate and teach two such summer courses in Ghana.

Partnering institutions have included the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana.


The Management and Analysis of Data for Social Science and Other Research

JULY 20 - 31, 2015 • UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON

This short course will introduce participants to the statistical analysis of demographic, economics, and health datasets from Ghana and other African countries, using Stata, a leading statistical package. Samples of data from the most recent rounds of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) and the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), as well as times series data will be used to illustrate various ways of managing and analysing data. A major advantage of this course is that each participant will receive a copy of the latest version of the software.

Structure of course: The course runs from Monday July 20 through Friday July 31, 2015, with Saturday and Sunday free. Mornings are devoted to guided hands-on data analysis in a computer lab using Stata, with exercises and informal instruction in the afternoons. A high ratio of instructors to trainees provides each participant with individual support. Exercises promote practice in analysing data to answer policy-relevant questions in demography, economics, governance, and health.

Target audience: The 2-week course is designed to serve a wide range of participants, including researchers, graduate students, and staff from Government ministries, departments, and agencies and staff from NGOs. Participants should have some prior training in statistics and be comfortable working with computers. It is, however, not necessary to have some prior experience working with Stata or other statistical packages.

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Analysis of Census and Survey Data for Social Science Research

JULY 21-AUGUST 1, 2014 • UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON

The African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) at the University of Michigan organized the course “Analysis of Census and Survey Data for Social Science Research” at the University of Ghana, Legon from July 21 to August 1, 2014.  This short course will introduce participants to the statistical analysis of demographic, economics, and health data sets from Ghana and other African countries, using the STATA statistical package.A major focus will be on recent rounds of the Ghana census, the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS). STATA software will be provided.

This course is sponsored by the African Social Research Initiative (ASRI), and includes instructors from the University of Ghana, Legon (Ghana), the University of Cape Coast (Ghana), the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and the University of Michigan (USA).

TARGET AUDIENCE: The 2-week course is designed to serve a wide range of participants, including researchers, graduate students, and staff in government agencies. Participants should have some prior training in statistics and be comfortable working with computers. It is not necessary to have experience working with STATA or other statistical packages.

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Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Research on Governance & Public Policy

Center for Democratic Development| Accra, Ghana| July 19-21 2011

The University of Michigan’s African Social Research Initiative (ASRI) organized a three-day short course on quantitative methods for research on governance and public policy, hosted by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) in Accra, Ghana, from 19-21 July 2011.  The course was developed and taught by Rod Alence from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), assisted by graduate students from Wits and the University of Cape Town, along with researchers based at CDD.

The aim of the course was to introduce quantitative methods to researchers in fields in which training opportunities are limited.   The 25 participants were drawn from universities and non-profit research organizations.  Most were based in Accra, but two traveled from Kumasi, and one traveled from Tamale.  All were regular “producers” of qualitative research on governance and public policy, most with Master’s degrees in the social sciences, and nearly all stated that their main reason for attending was to develop the skills needed to incorporate quantitative analysis more fully in their work.