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United Kingdom

Data Research Centre Wales (UK0084)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United Kingdom – Third National Action Plan 2016-18

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Welsh Government

Support Institution(s): UK statistics authority, Administrative Data Research Centre – Wales (academic partnership); ESRC; Administrative Data Research Network Board

Policy Areas

E-Government, Local Commitments, Science & Technology

IRM Review

IRM Report: United Kingdom End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, United Kingdom Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment text: In partnership with the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales, the
Welsh Government will work to ensure that access to government datasets is available in a secure
and safe manner for the purposes of academic and public sector research. Furthermore, such access
is promoted to maximise the use of such data for research that is published and made available to
support better decisions.
Objective: Secure and ethical access to data held by government to accredited academic and
public sector researchers in approved safe environments with appropriate controls in place, leading
to published research for the public good.
Status quo: To overcome barriers to access to data for academic or public sector research
purposes.
Ambition: Through this commitment we will improve the public value of government data by
ensuring it is available to use to produce high quality, published, research that will inform public
policy and improve the lives of citizens.
Milestones:
1. Publish further research in partnership with the Administrative Data Research Centre-Wales
by the end of the financial year
2. Increase the number of public sector datasets available for Welsh researchers through the
ADRC-W by the end of the financial year
3. Pilot techniques for local authorities to supply data for research in the ADRC-W by the end
of the financial year

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4. Administrative Data Research Centre Wales (Wales)

Commitment text:In partnership with the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales, the Welsh Government will work to ensure that access to government datasets is available in a secure and safe manner for the purposes of academic and public sector research. Furthermore, such access is promoted to maximise the use of such data for research that is published and made available to support better decisions.

Objective:Secure and ethical access to data held by government to accredited academic and public sector researchers in approved safe environments with appropriate controls in place, leading to published research for the public good.

Status quo:To overcome barriers to access to data for academic or public sector research purposes.

Ambition:Through this commitment we will improve the public value of government data by ensuring it is available to use to produce high quality, published, research that will inform public policy and improve the lives of citizens.

Milestones:

1. Publish further research in partnership with the Administrative Data Research Centre-Wales by the end of the financial year

2. Increase the number of public sector datasets available for Welsh researchers through the ADRC-W by the end of the financial year

3. Pilot techniques for local authorities to supply data for research in the ADRC-W by the end of the financial year

Responsible institution: Welsh Government

Supporting institutions: UK statistics authority, Administrative Data Research Centre – Wales (academic partnership); ESRC; Administrative Data Research Network Board

Start date: March 2015

End date: March 2017

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aimed to extend secure use of data by the public sector and academics, as part of a partnership between the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales, based at Cardiff University, and the Welsh government. The Administrative Data Research Centre Wales is a centre for leading data scientists and a hub for networks across Wales that ‘uses cutting-edge technology to efficiently link and analyses de-identified administrative data that has the ability to inform social, economic and health related research in the UK'.[Note 198: ADRC Wales ‘ADRC Wales', https://adrn.ac.uk/about/network/wales/ ]

The milestones are mostly open ended and considered to be ‘rolling', particularly milestones 1 and 2.[Note 199: Interview with Rhiannon Caunt, Welsh Government, 6 September 2017.] If fully completed, the commitment would be a positive step towards improved accessibility of data for research, for which there is a demand.[Note 200: Welsh Government, http://gov.wales/docs/caecd/research/2014/140331-recommendations-improving-research-access-potentially-disclosive-data-summary-en.pdf ] However, although the commitment's activities are verifiable, they do not explain what type of research will be published, the granularity of the datasets, and what the pilot techniques will entail.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

So far, milestones 1 and 2 are ongoing, as the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales has continued to make available more data for researchers (though the data is not publicly accessible because of the sensitivity). Both milestones will carry on until the deadline.[Note 201: Interview with Rhiannon Caunt, Welsh Government, 6 September 2017.]

For milestone 3, funding for the pilot is in place (which took longer than anticipated), and there is now a need to identify a pilot local authority to carry out the project.[Note 202: Interview with Rhiannon Caunt, Welsh Government, 6 September 2017.]

There are a range of innovative projects drawing on the new data. They will provide benefit both to data scientists and policymakers, and help ‘overcome barriers' to access as the commitment intends. The Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) has begun a detailed project with the Welsh government to accurately map the number of Welsh speakers across Wales by linking survey and census data.[Note 203: NETWORK, Research starts on Welsh language project, https://adrn.ac.uk/media/174234/network_4.pdf ] Other ongoing work includes an analysis of disability benefit recipients, social capital and the link between health and homelessness.[Note 204: ADRC Wales, ‘ADRC Wales projects', https://adrn.ac.uk/about/network/wales/]

End of term: Substantial

The Welsh government's final update of October 2018 mapped the continuing work and collaboration with academics.[Note 205: Welsh Government (2018), Third UK Open Government, national action plan 2016-2018, Welsh Government End of Term Self-Assessment Report, October 2018, https://www.opengovernment.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Office-of-the-Chief-Digital-Officer-NAP-3-Open-Government-National-Action-Plan-2016-2018-Final-Assessment.pdf; map creator in beta, http://lle.gov.wales/map] Further collaborative work was published, with the second “Supporting People linking data” progress report on an innovative program that uses data to support a Welsh government housing programme in 2018.[Note 206: Supporting People Data Linking Project, Johnson, R. Lowe, S.

E. Jones I.(2018) Supporting People Data Linkage Study: Year Two Progress Report, Cardiff: Welsh Government,, https://gov.wales/docs/caecd/research/2018/180628-supporting-people-data-linkage-study-year-two-en.pdf ] Data on a series of different subjects, from home efficiency to children, were added, as were data deposits for the National Pupil Database and National Survey for Wales. Confirmation of funding for the pilot projects was delayed but various local government-level collaborative programmes began in June 2017. One local authority (Swansea) installed data linking technology and four others committed to doing so in the future.[Note 207: Welsh Government (2017), National Action Plan Welsh Government Mid-Term Self-Assessment Report]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

The commitment aimed to open (in a secure way) datasets for research, building on ongoing work with academics and researchers. The new data, covering a range of government information, has fed into important research, from heating efficiency and studies of the Welsh language to health and homelessness. The programme is ongoing, and it appears there is more research and data in progress. The reports on data innovation, as a result, help stimulate new thinking about collaboration with the data, with new linked data techniques now being used in at least one local authority.

Carried Forward?

The commitment has not been carried forward, but work is ongoing.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership