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Statistics Without Borders Project: Haitian Earthquake Data

Haiti

  • A team of Statistics Without Borders (SWB) volunteers advised SciMetrika, LLC (an 8(a) firm that focuses on providing solutions to advancing human health) on the design and execution of a survey in Haiti.  
  • Data collected will be used to assess the impact of the magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake of January 12, 2010. The epicentre of this earthquake, near the town of Léogâne, was about 16 miles WSW of the Haitian capital and population center of Port-au-Prince. Thousands of people died and homes, businesses, government buildings, and national landmarks throughout the region collapsed or suffered structural damage, resulting in the displacement of millions of survivors.
  • In the aftermath of this (or any other) natural disaster, it is critical to quickly develop reliable estimates of the extent of damage to homes and displacement of people as well as the nature of the displacements (temporary or permanent, current living conditions of the displaced, etc.).  It is on these issues that SciMetrika and SWB focused.

Three SWB volunteers spent a week working with SciMetrika President & CEO Jean Orelien in Haiti.  This trip had multiple purposes:

  • Work with local Haitian authorities and representatives of other organizations in Haiti to assess the situation and the potential difficulties to data collection;
  • Work with the SWB Project Director and other SWB volunteers to design a questionnaire and plan for executing the study;
  • Assist with cognitive testing, field testing, and focus group testing of the draft questionnaire;
  • Assist with translation and back-translation of the questionnaire and instructions for data collectors and their supervisors;
  • Assist with pilot testing; and
  • Advise on revision the questionnaire and data collection plan based on what is learned from the pilot testing.

While the geographic focus of this study is Port-au-Prince and its suburbs (such as Carrefour and Petion-Ville), SciMetrika is considering expansion of the project into cities outside of the capital that were affected such as Jacmel and Leogane.

As of September 2012, the anonymized Haitian post-earthquake cell-phone survey dataset is available. The zipped file contains documentation and the data in SAS and SPSS formats.

In October 2013, an article on this SWB project was published in Significance Magazine.

Students from Carnegie Mellon University created Statistical Graphics and Visualization Projects for a Fall 2015 course entitled "Statistical Graphics and Visualization" taught by Jerzy Wieczorek:



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