Welsh Government takes innovative approach to policy making

The Welsh Government is working with data analysis experts from Swansea and Cardiff Universities to shape policy-making in Wales.

Through the Administrative Data Research Wales project, data science experts at Swansea University Medical School and staff from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) at Cardiff University will work with specialist teams within Welsh Government.

With a £5.3 million investment from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), they’ll use innovative data analysis techniques to support the Welsh Government’s Prosperity for All national strategy.

Minister for Finance and Trefnydd Rebecca Evans said: “I am pleased that the Welsh Government is working with Swansea and Cardiff University on this innovative data linking project.

“This partnership will enable us to access a richer evidence base, helping shape and support future policy decisions that improve the lives of people in Wales.”

Using the SAIL Databank at Swansea University to link and analyse anonymised data, the Welsh Government will be able to better understand different areas of public service delivery and people’s experience.

According to the ADR Wales team, this new approach will “support the development of collaborative and integrated policy to improve the lives of people in Wales”.

Glyn Jones, chief statistician for Wales and co-director of ADR Wales, said: “To deliver policies that enhance lives in Wales, we need evidence and this is exactly what ADR Wales will look to deliver.

“Integration and joining up services beyond traditional boundaries is at the heart of public policy in Wales and prevention is a priority for delivering better outcomes for people now and in future generations.

“This partnership marks a significant leap forward in how government can harness the data available in a safe and constructive way in order to make informed decisions on the delivery of public services in Wales.”

Professor David Ford, co-director, added: “Data has the potential to transform how organisations large and small operate and when used properly and securely, is a significant resource.

“This partnership means ADR Wales is ideally placed to maximise the utility of anonymous and secure data linking to enhance Welsh policy development and evaluation.

“Together with Welsh Government we’ll build on our expertise and previous work, including evaluations of the Warm Homes NEST Scheme, Supporting People and Flying Start – all of which have shaped future policy decisions.”