Prof. Samuel Clark

University of Washington

Samuel Clark is a Demographer and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington.  He is trained in biology, computer science and demography, and his research focuses on issues that affect Africa.  Professor Clark's recent work has pursued simulation-based studies of the impact of HIV on African populations, methods development to improve the value of estimated and modeled results, empirical investigation of migration and mortality in southern Africa, methods to improve the management and analysis of longitudinal population data, and capacity development for population and health research in Africa and Asia.  Clark's microsimulator has been used to investigate the long-term demographic and epidemiologic effects of HIV on African populations, and how those impacts are affected by behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions.  Ongoing work examines the effects of male circumcision and age and sexual activity mixing on the dynamics of HIV epidemics.  Professor Clark has participated in collaboration with Adrian Raftery and colleagues at UW that explores the application of the Bayesian melding method to epi-demographic models and demographic projection models more generally. 

UNAIDS has recently adopted this method to estimate its EPP model that is used to relate the HIV prevalence of antenatal clinic attendees to HIV prevalence in the population as a whole.  Ongoing work with the UN Population Division will explore the potential of this method to improve the prediction intervals around the UN's population projections for all countries.  Empirical work in conjunction with Mark Collinson and colleagues at the Agincourt Health and Population Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has explored the relationship between migration and mortality.  Additional work with Agincourt is examining the relationships between household socio-economic status, migration and health indicators and describing the mortality experienced by orphans and children of chronically sick parents.  Over a long period Professor Clark has been concerned with the quality of longitudinal population and health data collected in the developing world, and he has recently published two methodological developments aimed at improving the quality of longitudinal data, the efficiency with which they are managed, and the ability of scientists to use them.  This work is moving forward to address issues of data access and sharing from long-term demographic and health surveillance systems in the developing world.  Aiming to improve the ability of developing world scientists to produce quality scientific results that can affect policy, for the past several years Professor Clark has taught demography, statistics and data management courses to Masters-level students from Africa and Asia at the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.  Much of Clark's work in Africa is done in association with the INDEPTH Network Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) centres in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and in particular centres that are members of the INDEPTH Network.  An ongoing project with INDEPTH is gathering mortality data from 37 health and demographic surveillance member centres and will soon produce a volume that presents these data in a comparative perspective and identifies common underlying age-patterns or mortality