Statistical Collaboration Laboratory
SUALISA is a Statistical Collaboration Laboratory whose main goal is to increase knowledge and application of statistics among SUA undergraduate, postgraduate and academic staff members as well the general public in Tanzania in research. It is one among twenty such laboratories that will be established in developing countries by 2020 under the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistics Analysis (LISA) project based in the Department of Statistics at Virginia Tech, USA.
Current Status – Active
SUALISA started offering services on December 10, 2014. Services are provided by five consultants Monday to Friday for two hours starting from 11:00 to 13:00. Consultants offer the following three categories of services (i) statistical collaboration to researchers, (ii) walk-in statistical consulting, and (iii) statistical short courses. All services provided so far have been “walk in” consultations. Common themes on which clients have requested consultation include statistical analyses, clarification on analytical models, and use of particular analytical software or programs.
Key Actors at SUA
The Department of Biometry and Mathematics, Faculty of Science
Dr. Flavianus T. Magayane Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist
Start date of the first ‘Conversation that Matters’: December, 2013
Stage 1 – Conversations That Matter
Prof. Eric Vance, founder of LISA at Virginia Tech, visited SUA to present his model for a statistical collaboration laboratory. After meeting with him, SUA administrators from the Faculty of Science and central administration agreed with iAGRI that a stat lab based on the LISA model should be established at SUA. Through consultation between the Faculty of Science and iAGRI, potential challenges to the success of a stat lab at SUA were identified, including financing, location, and the availability of trained staff.
Stage 2 – Ways That Work
SUA’s Faculty of Science, in consultation with iAGRI, wrote a project proposal for establishing a LISA at SUA, including sending several SUA staff to learn about LISA and adapt the model to the SUA environment. SUA staff trained at the Virginia Tech LISA returned to Tanzania and created a work plan for establishing SUALISA, which incorporated a cost analysis and solutions to potential challenges. SUA and iAGRI agreed to implement the work plan to establish a permanent stat lab at SUA’s main campus.
Stage 3 -Changes That Sustain
SUALISA has been officially adopted by the university as a service to be provided through the Faculty of Science. The Faculty has appointed a Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator, and an administrative support person to manage the lab. SUA has also authorized statistics experts from all over campus to participate in advising services offered by the lab.