Training Workshop on Advanced Techniques in STATA 12 Held
Following the consultative workshop, “Climate Change In Pakistan – Consultation on Sample Design”, on June18, 2012, a training workshop was conducted on June 19, 2012. The workshop, “Data Management Tools – Advanced Techniques in STATA 12”, was aimed at enhancing the capacity of researchers to use tools of statistical analysis as featured in the latest edition of STATA, a statistical software package used for managing and processing data. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Ben Groom, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE), who was also a key participant at the consultative workshop.
Dr. Groom started the day with an introduction to ‘Programme Evaluation’ and the evolution of the Randomised Control Trials (RCT) from biomedical sciences to social sciences and policy making. He delved into the theories that inform models that are commonly employed in research, before explaining how they are to be used in practice. The latter exercise involved participants using Stata 12 on their computers to manage data that they had been provided. The data provided was from Dr. Ben Groom’s work on Climate Change, Food Productivity and Income in China and therefore the training also familiarised the participants with climate change data.
The latter half of the workshop focused on the problem of selection bias during sampling. Dr. Groom identified the problems that arise when trying to take a sample, that make it unrepresentative. He proposed ‘Propensity Score Matching’ as a solution and then proceeded to explain how it is employed in practice. This included a lecture on various types of ‘Matching’, i.e. Stratified Matching, Kernel Matching and Nearest Neighbour Matching.
The institutions and departments represented at the training were PIDE, SPDC, Mahbub ul Haq HDC, DPRC, ASER Pakistan, Sustainable Development Centre at GCU, WWF-P and Department of Economics at LUMS.
The workshop was very interactive as the participants raised questions periodically and Dr. Groom was happy to entertain comments when offered.