Processes and Policies

Please see below for more information about the processes, policies, and other frequently asked questions related to the LISA 2020 Network. Still have questions? Contact us at LISA2020@colorado.edu.

Seven steps for joining LISA 2020

Process last updated 2021-04-22.

  1. Identify a potential Director or Coordinator of the stat lab and a mentor from within the LISA 2020 Network who will help the potential Director or Coordinator receive sufficient training and guidance in the non-technical skills needed to move between theory and practice to apply statistics and data science to solve real problems as well as to learn from other stat labs and share best practices.

  2. Gather and document support from within the department and across the university for the stat lab in the form of letters from senior university officials supporting the official creation of such a stat lab.

  3. Complete and submit via email to LISA2020@colorado.edu the Full Lab Plan/Proposal to become a “Proposed Member” of the LISA 2020 Network. The proposal will document the purpose/mission of the stat lab, a name for it, and identify a physical location with enough space to meet with domain experts. It will also include detailed statements about the lab’s Context/Environment/Leadership; Mission, Goals, and Objectives; Activities; Personnel; Budget; Expected Outcomes (metrics); and Desired Impacts (metrics), as well as how the lab plans to connect with the LISA 2020 Network. The Full Lab Plan/Proposal can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/LISA2020FullProposal and then edited and returned via email.

  4. Respond to a review committee’s feedback on the Full Lab Plan/Proposal. If the response to the feedback is satisfactory, the lab will be granted “Transitional Member” status in the LISA 2020 Network.

  5. Open the stat lab: a) Train your students, b) Provide research infrastructure for local domain experts, c) Teach short courses/workshops to improve statistical skills and literacy widely, d) Report on your stat lab’s activities, outcomes, and impacts (metrics).

  6. Stay connected with the network via semi-monthly Zoom meetings, annual symposia, quarterly reports of stat lab activities and numbers, and other channels.

  7. Report a full quarter of metrics and present about the lab to the LISA 2020 Network.

Typically, labs will complete steps 1-4 before step 5, though some of the steps may be taken out of order. For example, a stat lab can open before they have completed step 3. We encourage labs to become connected with the LISA 2020 Network (step 6) at the early stages of the process.

In general, labs that complete steps 1-3 are considered “Proposed Members”. Labs successfully responding to the feedback on the Full Lab Plan/Proposal (step 4) will become “Transitional Members.” The next step would be to begin operation of the stat lab. The final steps would be for the transitional lab to report a full quarter of metrics and have introduced their lab to the LISA 2020 Network at a semi-monthly Zoom meeting. Then, if accepted by the LISA 2020 Network, they would become “Full Members.”

If creating a new stat lab interests you, we encourage you to work through the Full Lab Plan/Proposal and to connect with a mentor in the LISA 2020 Network to answer any questions.

Naming Convention for Statistical Collaboration Laboratories

Names of stat labs should be unique. If a stat lab has completed the full membership process within the LISA 2020 Network, it has initial rights to the name it established via the proposal and membership voting process. New stat labs will not be allowed to request names already in use. A stat lab will forfeit its right to a name if it is inactive for over one year and a new location has interest in its name. Stat labs that have not submitted quarterly metrics or annual reports; attended semi-monthly Zoom meetings, Symposium events, or other full network activities; and have not responded to email and other contact attempts from the LISA 2020 Secretariat for one year will be considered inactive. The LISA 2020 Secretariat will make all efforts to regain contact with stat labs with full membership in the LISA 2020 Network to try to ensure that this situation does not occur except in situations where previous stat labs are no longer functional.

Quick Guide to LISA 2020 Metrics Reporting

What is the purpose of reporting?

As part of our three-year LISA 2020 Network grant agreement with USAID, we provide certain data about the labs and USAID-funded projects. We formally report to USAID every 6 months, and ask labs to report data to us every 3 months in order to stay on track.

How were these metrics determined?

At the beginning of the grant period, we chose some outcomes that were suggested by USAID, and created some other custom outcomes, and these are the columns of information that you see in your spreadsheets. We also created some target numbers for these outcomes over the project period of three years, which we can revise from time to time as we see how the labs are performing—the goal of this being to objectively evaluate whether the LISA 2020 grant is meeting with success.

What are the metrics the LISA 2020 Network reports to USAID?

  • Number of publications (peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed)

    • Also title, date, type of publication, authors, and gender of authors

    • USAID is interested specifically in publications that results from projects directly funded by USAID1, but please record all lab project-related publications in this spreadsheet; we will use the additional information about the publications to determine whether to report them to USAID

    • I have recently added a new column asking for confirmation about whether a publication is lab-project related or not; lab-project related means work done with a domain expert/lab client, and an example of something that is not project related is a more theoretical publication that you undertake as an academic staff member

  • Number of projects with individual domain experts (researchers, businesses, policy actors)

    • USAID is interested specifically in projects that are funded directly by USAID, but please record all projects in this spreadsheet (we will determine which to report to USAID based on our administrative records)

  • Number of policy recommendation meetings

  • Number of stat lab trainees of different types

  • Number of educational events provided by the lab (short courses, 1-day workshops, multi-day workshops) and number of attendees of different types

  • Number of labs in the LISA 2020 Network2

  • Number of program and policy changes influenced by USAID-funded projects2


1 Currently in Nigeria, Ghana, and India, and will include TEACH fund projects once these are underway

2 Not recorded in spreadsheets

What should we be especially aware of when recording data?

  1. Everything reported in the “Data” tab (main spreadsheet) should be a number. If anything requires an additional written explanation, please send a separate document, or document it in the email when you return the spreadsheet. The symbol “#” is meant to indicate that a number goes in the box, although it turns out that this is primarily a North American use of this symbol.

  2. The second tab in the spreadsheet contains explanations of all metrics you are meant to record. Please review this if you are not sure what should go under any heading.

  3. Areas that require additional information in order for us to count them are publications and policy recommendation convenings. For us to count these metrics, additional information must completed in the spreadsheet on another tab (either the “Publications” tab or the “Policy Recommendations Convenings” tab).

  4. What is a policy recommendation convening? This is a meeting with policy actors who have the power to implement a public policy change. This meeting must involve a recommendation for public policy, based on data and analysis that you have already completed. It is NOT any meeting with a client/domain expert or policy actor.

What if our lab has achievements that are not covered by these metrics?

Many labs have operations and objectives that are not covered by the metrics we report to USAID. We encourage all labs to create their own metrics in addition to those that we collect for USAID, and record them in a separate spreadsheet of your own design. You may structure it in a different way that works for you.

The goal is for you to be able to measure your own progress and success, and additionally to be able to share these metrics with your stakeholders. If you do this, please send us your lab’s personal spreadsheet when you report your USAID metrics. We would still love to be able to share these successes with the LISA 2020 network. If you would like help designing these spreadsheets, please contact Kim Love at kim@krloveqcc.com. She is the LISA 2020 MEL (Measurement, Evaluation and Learning) Specialist. This is part of the technical assistance that the LISA 2020 Network is intended to provide.

You are also welcome to provide us with a narrative describing your lab’s successes in addition to the USAID spreadsheet. Programs that are working directly on USAID funded activities (the original three labs, plus teach fund awardees) are required to do this each quarter, though this has looked different depending on the lab’s activities that quarter.

Who do we ask if we have questions?

You can reach out to any of the USAID project leads. However, the best person to contact is Kim Love at kim@krloveqcc.com. She is the LISA 2020 MEL (Measurement, Evaluation and Learning) Specialist.

Stat Lab Director/Coordinator Needs to Step Down Temporarily

In the case that a stat lab Director/Coordinator needs to temporarily step away from their duties for professional or personal reasons, the LISA 2020 Secretariat should be notified of the interim Director/Coordinator and the timeline for the expected return of the recognized Director/Coordinator.

Leadership Change at a LISA 2020 Recognized Stat Lab

When the leadership of a LISA 2020 recognized stat lab changes, “Full Membership” status will be temporarily halted until the following process is completed to confirm the continuance of the lab.

  1. Identify the new Director or Coordinator of the stat lab. Verify that the current mentor from within the LISA 2020 Network wishes to continue serving as mentor for the new Director/Coordinator or locate a new mentor within the network. This mentor will help the new Director/Coordinator receive sufficient training and guidance in the non-technical skills needed to move between theory and practice to apply statistics and data science to solve real problems as well as to learn from other stat labs and share best practices.

  2. The new Director/Coordinator will gather and document continued support from within the department and across the University for the Stat Lab in the form of letters from senior university officials supporting the continued operation of such a stat lab.

  3. Complete and submit via email to LISA2020@colorado.edu the Full Lab Plan/Proposal. This proposal can be based on the originally approved proposal for the stat lab, but should incorporate any changes that the new Director/Coordinator will implement plus revisions and updates that have occurred since the submission of the original proposal or that will improve the status and impact of the stat lab. As with the original proposal, this will document the purpose/mission of the stat lab, a name for it, and identify a physical location with enough space to meet with domain experts. It will also include detailed statements about the lab’s Context/Environment/Leadership; Mission, Goals, and Objectives; Activities; Personnel; Budget; Expected Outcomes (metrics); and Desired Impacts (metrics), as well as how the lab plans to connect with the LISA 2020 Network. A blank version of the Full Lab Plan/Proposal can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/LISA2020FullProposal. If you do not have a copy of the previously approved proposal, please contact LISA2020@Colorado.EDU and we will share it with you.

  4. Respond to a review committee’s feedback on the submitted Full Lab Plan/Proposal. If the response to the feedback is satisfactory, the lab will be granted a temporary continuance of full membership status in the LISA 2020 Network.

  5. Continue operations of the stat lab: a) Train your students, b) Provide research infrastructure for local domain experts, c) Teach short courses/workshops to improve statistical skills and literacy widely, d) Report on your stat lab’s activities, outcomes, and impacts (metrics).

  6. Stay connected with the network via semi-monthly Zoom meetings, annual symposia, quarterly reports of stat lab activities and numbers, and other channels.

  7. Report a full quarter of metrics and present about the lab to the LISA 2020 Network.

After having completed steps 1-4, previously established labs are granted a temporary continuance of full membership status. After demonstration of continued operation via the submission of activities, outcomes, and impacts (metrics) report, the new Director/Coordinator will be asked to provide a lab update presentation to the LISA 2020 Network at a semi-monthly Zoom meeting. If accepted by general consent of the LISA 2020 Network, full membership status would be reestablished and a new letter and certificate of membership will be issued.

After departure of a currently approved lab Director/Coordinator, if the new Director/Coordinator does not submit a revised Full Lab Plan/Proposal within 60 days, respond to review committee feedback within 15 days, or submit metrics during the next applicable quarter, Full Membership status may be withdrawn and institutions requested to complete the entire full membership process from the beginning.

LISA 2020 Recognized Stat Lab Director/Coordinator Moves to a New Institution

When a successful stat lab Director or Coordinator moves to a new institution, we understand that they may plan to implement many of the strategies they previously developed as they establish a new stat lab. We also understand that each institution is unique and that strategies will need to be tailored to fit the new environment. The following process is completed to establish a stat lab at the new institution.

  1. Gather and document support from within the department and across the University for the Stat Lab in the form of letters from senior university officials supporting the official creation of such a stat lab.

  2. Complete and submit via email to LISA2020@colorado.edu the Full Lab Plan/Proposal to become a “Proposed Member” of the LISA 2020 Network. The proposal will document the purpose/mission of the stat lab, a name for it, and identify a physical location with enough space to meet with domain experts. It will also include detailed statements about the lab’s Context/Environment/Leadership; Mission, Goals, and Objectives; Activities; Personnel; Budget; Expected Outcomes (metrics); and Desired Impacts (metrics), as well as how the lab plans to connect with the LISA 2020 Network. The Full Lab Plan/Proposal can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/LISA2020FullProposal and then edited and returned via email.

  3. Respond to a review committee’s feedback on the Full Lab Plan/Proposal. If the response to the feedback is satisfactory, the lab will be granted “Transitional Member” status in the LISA 2020 Network.

  4. Open the stat lab: a) Train your students, b) Provide research infrastructure for local domain experts, c) Teach short courses/workshops to improve statistical skills and literacy widely, d) Report on your stat lab’s activities, outcomes, and impacts (metrics).

  5. Stay connected with the network via semi-monthly Zoom meetings, annual symposia, quarterly reports of stat lab activities and numbers, and other channels.

  6. Report a full quarter of metrics and present about the lab to the LISA 2020 Network.

Typically, labs will complete steps 1-4 before step 5, though some of the steps may be taken out of order. For example, a stat lab can open before they have completed step 3. We encourage labs to become connected with the LISA 2020 Network (step 6) at the early stages of the process.

In general, labs that complete steps 1&2 are considered “Proposed Members”. Labs successfully responding to the feedback on the Full Lab Plan/Proposal (step 3) will become “Transitional Members.” The next step would be to begin operation of the stat lab. The final steps would be for the transitional lab to report a full quarter of metrics and have introduced their lab to the LISA 2020 Network at a semi-monthly Zoom meeting. Then, if accepted by the LISA 2020 Network, they would become “Full Members.”


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