The Role of Statistics in International Health
International Health covers a number of important fields including health policy (both nationally and internationally), the response to environmental disasters, and the study of health in developing nations. These activities are often hampered through a lack of resources and technical expertise where it is most needed. Statistics plays a vital role within International Health, where statistics can be defined as the ability to collect and interpret valid data describing the impact of a given health concern and its possible causes. Statistics Without Borders was established to meet the vast shortage of statistical expertise within the field of International Health.
What is Statistics Without Borders?
SWB provides pro bono statistical consulting for professionals, researchers, and other volunteers involved in international health work. SWB was established in 2008 as a special-interest group of the American Statistical Association, and today is composed of more than 200 statisticians from all around the world (including North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australasia). Our members come from a variety of backgrounds such as academia, industry, and government. Membership includes professionals, students, and retirees.
What types of projects have we worked on to date?
To see more details on the projects that we are currently working on or have worked on in the past please click here.
Who can become a volunteer for Statistics Without Borders?
The work of Statistics Without Borders is only possible through the warm generosity of a large team of members who have volunteered their time and expertise to support us in our mission. We warmly welcome volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds. We have members with a long background in international health statistics, experienced statisticians who are new to the field of international health, members who are new to the field of statistics but would like to work on large international health projects under the supervision of an experienced statistician, and members from other non-statistical disciplines (including the evaluation of community aid programs and data management). There is also a special role for SWB members who work for large or small community aid organizations, or who work in developing nations to serve as a representative for SWB within these contexts.
How can you help us as a volunteer for Statistics Without Borders?
When you first join as a member of Statistics Without Borders then you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire asking for brief details about your area of expertise or interest. When new projects are established between Statistics Without Borders and our external clients, we create a project team from existing SWB members. Most of the time this is done by sending a project description to the SWB email list asking for volunteers for a given project, though sometimes specific SWB members are contacted if there is a specific area of expertise needed for a given project.
The rewards of becoming a volunteer for Statistics Without Borders
Statistics Without Borders is a not-for-profit organization and our volunteers are not paid for their time or services. However, serving as a volunteer is a rewarding experience. Most statisticians can attest to friends and colleagues who criticize statistics as being an incredibly abstract and theoretical field. As a member of Statistics Without Borders you will quickly discover that statistical expertise and support is much desired by our friends and colleagues in developing nations as they seek to characterize and respond to the natural disasters and health challenges that are present within their countries. As a statistician working in international health you can make a meaningful impact in what’s happening within these regions.
How can you become a member of Statistics Without Borders?
To become a member of Statistics Without Borders please fill in the online form that can be found here.