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GETTING AN ALPHA AND BETA VALUE

This question was posted the Coverage assessment forum area and has 1 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Stanley Macharia

M&E Officer

Normal user

22 Jun 2015, 08:39

Could anyone have a guide in getting the alpha and beta value in stage 3 of SQUEAC coverage assessment? What guides this given I have an AVERAGE PRIOR value say example 43%?

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

22 Jun 2015, 11:53

You need to have a prior mode (you have that as 43%). This is your best guess. You also need to specify a range that you reasonably believe coverage could lie within. If this is the first SQUEAC and coverage is neither very high or very low then I would use a range of +/- 20% (i.e. 23% to 63%). I'd use Table 4 from the SQUEAC / SLEAC Technical reference to get starting values alpha = 14.5, beta = 19.6 (these are the means of the 40% and 45% values in Table 4). I'd check this in the BayesSQUEAC calculator and fiddle with them if needed. You only need to get close to what you need.

Do not be tempted to go for an over-narrow prior unless you are very sure of yourself.

I suggest you play with the BayesSQUEAC calculator for a short while to see how alpha and beta change the shape and the width of the prior.

I hope this helps.

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