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.

Analysis of Census and Survey Data for 
Social Science Research

For complete details and Application (PDF DOWNLOAD) »

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.

APPLICATIONS: The application process is competitive and enrolment is limited. Participants will be selected on the basis of their interest, prior methodological training, and potential for research contributions.


  • The two-page application form; 
  • A brief cover letter (max 1 page) summarizing interests and objectives;
  • Letter of reference from an adviser or supervisor;
  • Vita

All applications must be received by June 2, 2014. Notification of acceptance will be sent by June 16, 2014. Applications may be sent by email to:
Mr. Emmanuel Larbi Offei - E-mail: | Tel: 0243643862
Mr. Wahab Abdul-Wahab (Jnr.) - Email: | Tel: 0263080989

For complete details and Application (PDF DOWNLOAD) »

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.

An innovative feature of the course was that introduced basic statistical methods using free, open-source software – specifically, “R” for statistics and “GNU Emacs” as an editing interface.  Participants brought their own laptops, and upon arrival they were given a USB drive loaded with the software, data sets, lecture slides, and other documentation.   The running example was a two-sample difference-of-proportions analysis, which required students to recode survey data, run basic tables and graphs, and construct confidence intervals.  By the end of the course, participants had presented their own analyses using Afrobarometer data.  They expressed a strong desire to come back in 2012 to attend a follow-up course.