Biostatistical Capacity Building in sub-Saharan Africa

Through the generous support of John L. McGoldrick, the McGoldrick Professional Development Program in Public Health administered through the Department of Biostatistics was established in 2009 to train researchers from low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) in quantitative methods useful in the design and analysis of HIV/AIDS studies.

The program focuses on reaching the greatest number of students with high-quality courses in biostatistics, data science, quantitative research methods, and implementation science. Additionally the program also aims to build a collaborative network in sub-Saharan Africa.

In it’s first iteration from 2009-2014, the program brought fellows to Harvard for intensive medium-term training (typically 4-6 months). In 2017 we sought to expand the programs reach through modification of the training module to train faculty from research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to offer quantitative methods courses at their home institutions. The program was offered in collaboration with the ARISE Network. In 2019 we again modified the program, this time to offer the training at one of the participating universities in SSA, the University of Rwanda. This course has since been offered at five additional institutions reaching over 100 students.

Through this program we aim to:

  • help relieve the burden many instructors face in trying to develop curricula on their own
  • create an international community of instructors that can work collaboratively rather than in isolation as one of few at their own institutions
  • increase the impact of our program on the improvement of capacity building in quantitative methods