Efficient linking of lists in humanitarian data management

Aldo Benini has produced a technical note reviewing efficient ways of linking lists when the linkage variables (e.g. name of person, village) have significant spelling differences, or the lists are of different size.

Abstract: ”Relief workers sometimes have to match two or more lists of persons (food aid recipients, camp populations, missing persons, patients, etc.) or localities (villages of origin; populated places in two administrative gazetteers). The identifying information (name, address, document numbers) may be held in spreadsheets or databases, but may defy immediate matching, notably because of spelling differences. Automated record linkage procedures can speed up the process greatly while manual verification of dubious cases remains important. With lists obtained from a community empowerment program in Tanzania, I demonstrate how the linkage works, using one method in a popular spreadsheet application, and another in a statistical program.” – The paper can be downloaded from http://aldo-benini.org/Level2/humanitarian_data_analysis.htm.

Aldo has also commented “I am currently working on an application of Data Envelopment Analysis to the relative efficiency of 260 local associations in Bangladesh (in converting NGO-supplied inputs into empowerment outputs). Do you know of any other studies that investigate the efficiency (not only the effectiveness!) of NGO programs, particularly in the community empowerment sector (but also in other sectors – this kind of study seems to be extremely rare in the NGO world).”

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