Zambian Capacity Building Workshop Series
A June workshop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, concluded a four-part capacity building series of workshops for a team of Zambians. The primary purpose of the workshops was to prepare participants to serve as master trainers for future data analysts as well as improve their own data analysis, interpretation and presentation skills.
A total of 19 participants attended the final workshop. Seven participants were from Zambia’s Central Statistics Office, three from the National AIDS Council, four from the Ministry of Health, four from University of Zambia, and one from Zambia’s Center for Disease Control.
The first three trainings were conducted in Zambia beginning in September 2012. Throughout the series of workshops, participants learned through a combination of lectures and hands-on experience. Practical exercises and teaching assignments helped improve their skills in using and teaching Stata, a data analysis and statistical software.
The first workshop in the series offered intensive training on the fundamental commands needed for basic data analysis using Stata. During the second workshop, participants were introduced to new topics related to data cleaning and preparation of a data set for analysis. The third workshop focused on using population-based survey data to calculate a varied set of health and HIV-related indicators and on interpreting and presenting the indicators to a policy audience. The focus for the final workshop was application of the skills gained from the overall capacity building program, which included producing a scientific poster presentation on a topic of policy importance in Zambia.
The series of trainings helped participants establish a good foundation in the basics of data management and analysis. The value of the series of trainings was noted by one participant who said they are now able to “analyze data and interpret findings better for policy formulation and implementation.” Another highlighted the ability to improve their performance in their current jobs by applying their new skills to “statistical reports that were previously produced and change the way the data [is] presented and interpreted.”