Since its foundation in 1970, Sistemas Integrales has been guided by the principle that knowledge should be shared, not hoarded. In all of its projects – household surveys, impact evaluations, or cutting-edge applications, the company’s consultants train their counterparts in some way or another. This might be as simple as a couple of hours’ coaching in the use of a common commercial software, or as complex as a semester’s study of sampling theory. Sistemas Integrales has always believed that technical hurdles can be crossed more quickly and painlessly when local knowledge and skills are combined with specialist expertise.
This training often takes place within the statistical institute of the country where a survey is being conducted. However, Sistemas Integrales also has training facilities at its world headquarters. Over the years, survey managers and planners from 20 countries across the five continents have travelled to Santiago for courses which have included sampling, questionnaire design, the organisation of field-work and data-processing – practically the entire cycle of survey design and implementation. Surveys of all types can be covered: from household living standards or income and expenditure surveys, through food and nutrition surveillance systems, to the latest developments in Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI).
Training people costs money; and funders are often persuaded by short-term savings to import their own staff for the duration of a survey. Sistemas Integrales’ philosophy is that the long-term benefit of capacity building more than justifies the relatively small outlay involved.
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