ADR Wales Programme of Work launch at Welsh Parliament’s Senedd Cymru

The SAIL Databank was recognised as playing a significant role in the production of policy-informing research at the launch of the ADR Wales Programme of Work launch at Welsh Parliament, Senedd Cymru in December.

The event, which was attended by Ministers, policy officials, academics and the data linkage community, saw ADR Wales unveil its work plan that will help to provide insight into the key issues facing Wales and the UK.

ADR Wales Co-Directors Prof David Ford and Stephanie Howarth, Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Local Government and ADR UK Director Dr Emma Gordon

The ADR Wales Planned Programme of Work 2022-2026 outlines the ten thematic areas that the ADR Wales team will focus their research on to help government address the most pressing issues facing society. The document outlines the team’s upcoming work on Climate Change, Early Years, Education, Health and Well-being, Housing and Homelessness, Mental Health, Skills and Employability, Social Care, Social Justice and a programme to address new and emerging Major Societal Challenges.

The thematic areas build on ADR Wales’ success in addressing seven of these thematic areas over the last four years. In addition to the three new themes of Climate Change, Social Justice and Major Societal Challenges, the ADR Wales team have set out plans to boost training and capacity opportunities for the data analyst community, and a commitment to the Welsh language with continued public engagement and sustainability around its work. ADR Wales aligns its work with the key areas identified in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government 2021-2026 and utilises the academic independence and expertise of a team of specialist researchers, analysts and data scientists.

Speaking at the event on the work undertaken during the pandemic, Dr Emma Gordon, Director of ADR UK said: “It became clear that the richness of data held within the SAIL Databank in Wales could be used to support a wide range of analyses that just wasn’t possible anywhere else in the UK, and for me this is a perfect demonstration of why it’s the right model for ADR UK to be providing core funding to both academic and government partners in each of the four nations.”

Addressing delegates at the launch, Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services said: “My message to you today is that the Welsh Government absolutely values the role of administrative data research in supporting policy, operational and legislative decision making. Our responsibility as a government is to absolutely deliver the best for the people of Wales with the resources that we have, and data will help us to target the resources is in the most appropriate way.”

Speaking ahead of the event, Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “In Wales, we are linking de-identified data collected by public services to help inform policy, operational decisions, and our legislative programme. This work is being driven forward by Administrative Data Research Wales – our Welsh Government and higher education partnership. The achievements of this collaboration so far exemplify why we are committed to working with our stakeholders. We know we can do so much more together.

“This ADR Wales 2022-26 plan builds on established programmes of work in devolved areas such as education and housing and introduces new research themes to inform the climate change emergency and important societal issues, including the cost of living.”

The work undertaken by ADR Wales is made possible thanks to an investment of almost £17m until 2026 as part of the £90 million UK-wide Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) investment by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Established in 2018 as part of ADR UK, ADR Wales unites research expertise from Population Data Science at Swansea University Medical School and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD) at Cardiff University with analysts from Welsh Government. The ADR Wales team includes leading academics with expertise in the priority issues facing the nation. Together, ADR Wales works to ensure that timely administrative data-driven insights and evidence are used to help make informed policy decisions for the people of Wales. The ADR Wales team has to date led the way on cutting-edge data analysis techniques and research excellence, working alongside the world-renowned SAIL Databank to deliver robust, secure and informative research.  ADR Wales has produced significant researcher-led analysis to inform Welsh Government priority areas in housing, well-being, early years, education and skills, mental health and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic.