GenStat Discovery Edition 3 launched

Imagine being a painter with no brushes, or a builder with no trowel, or a chef with no wooden spoon… It would be very difficult to do your job; there are ways around it – but it might make your job much harder and take twice as long. All of us need the right tools to make our jobs easier and make the results better.

Now let’s imagine being a researcher or scientist, but not be able to access professional software to help with your analysis. Well, strictly speaking you can access the software, but the cost is too great for you or your organisation. This unfortunately is the reality for many universities and research stations in the Developing World; the repeated cry is inadequate infrastructure, lack of funding and little access to literature.

“This problem has now been solved with the release of GenStat Discovery Edition 3, professional statistical software that is free for non-commercial users such as government researchers, lecturers and students in developing countries” says Ric Coe, who heads the Research Methods Group in Nairobi, Kenya. This is a joint unit across two CGIAR centres that trains and gives advice to researchers on how to improve their research.

I spoke to Stewart Andrews (CEO of VSNi) to find out more:

What is GenStat Discovery and what is the story behind it?

Stewart: GenStat Discovery is the full version of GenStat but available only to non-commercial organisations in the Developing World; it’s as simple as that. We know that GenStat is a very powerful and easy to use statistical software system; and that it has features that are useful when doing research on agriculture, biosciences and related disciplines, including climate change. Africa is a continent where the effects of climate change are noticeable and can be dramatic i.e. even a small reduction in rainfall can affect the crop yields dramatically. We also know that many African institutes cannot afford to buy professional statistical software; so in 2003 we launched the first GenStat Discovery Edition – a free version of GenStat, initially only in Africa. The response was so positive that we made it available to all developing countries the following year, and we have continued to support this since.

But why are VSNi giving their software away? Surely a charitable donation would be easier?

Stewart: We believe that we have a social and moral responsibility to assist where we can. A single charitable donation would provide financial aid at that time, but we believe that it is better to give people the ability to solve their own problems in the long term; and therefore be able to plan for the future better…for example one of my great frustrations is when my computer stops working and I ask for help; what I actually want is the ability to solve the problem in the future, not a one off fix. By providing researchers and scientists in the Developing World with a tool for analysis and prediction and the support that goes with that I believe we are giving everyone a fair and equal chance to access the best in data analysis systems so no matter where you are in the world you need not necessarily be hampered by lack of resource.

So who pays for it?

Stewart: The supported users from the developed world essentially pay for it – as without them and their business we could not provide GenStat Discovery for free. We are a commercial organisation, not a charity; therefore we have commitments to our employees and our board. However, the more business we do – the more we can help organisations from developing countries, who do not have the financial capacity to purchase GenStat. Having said that, our prices are not inflated to cover this project; GenStat is priced fairly throughout the world – we see this as putting our ethics into practice.

Research is about giving information to people so that they can make decisions based on hard evidence and at the same time have an idea about risks and uncertainties. If people have access to information, they can start to make informed decisions; information can open minds to ideas and doors to the future.

[Wim Buysse, Professor Adipala and Ric Coe at the launch of GDE3 in Kampala, Uganda]Wim Buysse, Professor Adipala and Ric Coe at the launch of GDE3 in Kampala, Uganda

GenStat Discovery 3 was launched in November 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. This picture is of Wim Buysse (Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance), Professor Adipala (RUForum) and Ric Coe (ILRI).

GenStat Discovery 3 is available direct from VSNi, simply follow the link below to download your copy. In Africa, a free CD-Rom is available from RUForum, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture. The license key for GDE3 is automatically installed from the download version and CD-Rom, but expires at the end of 2008. To renew your license key and receive information on Discovery and related projects, register on the VSNi website – see below.

Further information

RUForum is an initiative by a consortium of 12 universities in east and southern Africa, to develop and strengthen human resource capacity for inter-disciplinary problem-solving. For more information go to their website or email them.

For more information on GenStat Discovery 3 go here.


Download GenStat Discovery 3 now.


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. My Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM) in Mozambique can not buy good statistical softwares like genstat and sas. So the project of genstat discovery edition 3 is very useful for us. I do statistical analysis on field trials data and I need so much to have good statistical tools.

    Posted by Jose Jaime Vilanculo | June 20, 2008, 07:54 am
  2. statistical softwares for analyzing Agric research are costly and out of reach to us in developing Countries. Genstat discovery edition 3 is easy to understand.Thanks to VSN!Bravo VSN!

    Williams Manggoel.
    Garkawa-Mikang, Plateau State, Nigeria

    Posted by williams Manggoel | July 11, 2008, 09:21 pm
  3. This is a laudable approach in facilitating the spread and use of modern tech information. I have never hard of such software in existence in any of the universities i attended in Sierra Leone. I believe such information will be made available not only to universities but research institutions in my country.

    Posted by Alhaji Siaka | July 12, 2008, 03:58 pm
  4. je suis chercheur en production animale et j’ai déjà suivi une formartion sur l’utilisation du genstat

    Posted by camara sawa | July 21, 2008, 03:07 pm
  5. genstat est un bon logiciel mais malheureusement meme nous qui avons suivi la formation en RDC avec Wime il arrive que nous soyons confronté au probléme d’accéssibilité aux nouvelles édition et aux licences recentes car moi mémé personnellement je la cherche dépuis un certains temps mais sans succés et si vous pouvez celle utilisable actuellement veuillez me la donner si c’est possible

    Posted by parent zihalirwa kulimushi | December 8, 2009, 10:24 am
  6. just got introduced to the GENSTAT programme.Finding it very enthralling.

    Posted by Baymolo Goma | August 11, 2010, 09:40 am
  7. just getting to know of genstat. its really good

    Posted by joseph issaka | August 18, 2010, 02:32 pm
  8. Please i want to download the discovery edition software program but i am being asked for a password. Can you help?

    Posted by Terry Ansah | February 11, 2011, 02:13 pm
  9. Please email requesting a copy of GDE and providing the details asked for on the web page.

    Posted by allen | February 22, 2011, 10:18 am
  10. i need GDE to perform ANOVA, iam a research scientist in ARC of Sudan

    Posted by qwe yuo | May 3, 2011, 06:41 am
  11. Please complete this form: and we will check your eligibility for GDE.

    Posted by allen | May 10, 2011, 01:12 pm
  12. This is good for institutions that may not afford to purchase the statistical package.

    Posted by Gilson Chipabika | May 25, 2011, 12:34 pm
  13. I want download genstat edition3

    Posted by raja | August 2, 2011, 07:59 am
  14. Please complete this form: and we will check your eligibility for GDE.

    Posted by allen | August 8, 2011, 09:17 am
  15. I need Genstat free for statistical analysis data.

    Posted by Mbikayi Nkonko | August 30, 2011, 12:16 pm
  16. I need the Genstats free edition 3 for data statistical analysis.

    Posted by Mbikayi Nkonko | August 30, 2011, 12:18 pm
  17. I need the Genstats free edition 3 for statistical analysis of data. I was trainedin the use of Genstat at the University of Ergaton, Kenya.

    Posted by Mbikayi Nkonko | August 30, 2011, 12:24 pm
  18. I want to obtened GenSat discovery in my cumputer version gratuite

    Posted by Tsoumou | September 21, 2011, 01:27 pm
  19. I want obtein genstat

    Posted by Tsoumou | September 21, 2011, 02:05 pm
  20. I think that it is interst for me to installe Genstat in my cumputer but it is very complicat to execut

    Posted by Tsoumou | September 21, 2011, 02:09 pm
  21. Please email requesting a copy of GDE and providing the details asked for on the registration web page. Thank you.

    Posted by allen | September 21, 2011, 04:11 pm