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Census policy information_practices

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'The role of the census in public policy-making: information practices of policy makers' by Lynn Killick, Alistair Duff, Mark Deakin and Hazel Hall presented at Information: Interactions and Impact (i3), 23-26 June 2015

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Census policy information_practices

  1. 1. The role of the census in public policy-making: information practices of policy makers Lynn Killick, Prof Alistair Duff, Prof Hazel Hall & Prof Mark Deakin @sherpalynn @ingsocproject
  2. 2. The role of the census in public policy-making: information practices of policy makers @sherpalynn
  3. 3. So why the census? • The ‘foundation’ for government statistics • The ‘anchor’ to compare other data sources against
  4. 4. And who are the policy makers? • Regulators • Politicians • Council Officials • Civil Servants • Non-executives • Third sector workers
  5. 5. approach Content Analysis • Longitudinal analysis of policy documents • First phase complete, documents published by Scottish Government for 2014 • Next phase will apply coding schedule to 2015 documents • Using NVivo Semi-structured interviews • Interviews not yet complete • 19 concluded to date covering all target areas • Emerging results at this stage
  6. 6. Which documents? • Equality Impact Assessments (EQIA’s) – Documents that public bodies must publish – Relate to any policy decision – Should detail all evidence consulted – Should detail any detrimental impact or positive impact • Scottish Government EQIA’s reviewed
  7. 7. approach Caveats • The census not always an appropriate evidence source • Unlikely to be the only source of evidence • First 2011 Census results released in December 2013 Results • Few documents made reference to the census • One document referred to a specific statistic emerging from the census • No evidence derived from small area data was referred to or mentioned directly
  8. 8. approach • References to the census appeared to be a caught in a general statement • No confidence that census data beyond the national headlines is accessed • Not all policy decisions need census data • Not all relevant reports would be available
  9. 9. ©NHSScotland Small area data not included….
  10. 10. approach Interviews • Recorded using iPad x 2 • Transcribed using Nvivo • Average length of interview 45 minutes • Confidentiality key – If Edinburgh is a village, Scotland is a very small town • First interview February • Last interview?
  11. 11. Without it we couldn’t demonstrate we were doing our job… it is our only measure of progress
  12. 12. I’ve never been asked for more detailed information
  13. 13. Those assessments?, they are a bit of pain to be honest
  14. 14. approach Results Results • Majority of users, use the census at a superficial level • Those who use the small area data tend to rely on third party statisticians • A reluctance to take action identified • Regulators and third party organisations placed more value on the census • Third party organisations and local authority most likely to use small area data • Small area data used as an influencing tool
  15. 15. Key findings The data is difficult to navigate – easy to look at top level information The place of census data as a benchmark/foundation is accepted Concerns that other initiatives (PREVENT) will affect the census and in turn the use of census data
  16. 16. Policy makers lack the ????? to apply census data to their work
  17. 17. References Baffour, B., King, T., & Valente, P. (2013). The modern census: evolution, examples and evaluation. International Statistical Review, 81(3), 407–425. doi:10.1111/insr.12036 Boyle, P., & Dorling, D. (2004). Guest editorial: the 2001 UK census: remarkable resource or bygone legacy of the “pencil and paper era”? Area, 36, 101–110. doi:10.1111/j.0004-0894.2004.00207.x The Cabinet Office, HM Government (2012). The Civil Service Reform Plan Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/305148/Civil- Service-Reform-Plan-final.pdf Chertov, O., & Aleksandrova, M. (2013). Using association rules for searching levers of influence in census data. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 73, 475–478. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.02.079 Coleman, D. (2013). The twilight of the census. Population and development Review, 8, 334–351. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00568.x/abstract Cullen, R. (2009). Culture, identity and information privacy in the age of digital government. Online Information Review, 33(3), 405–421. doi:10.1108/14684520910969871 Dugmore, K., Furness, P., Leventhal, B., & Moy, C. (2011). Beyond the 2011 census in the United Kingdom: with an international perspective. International Journal of Market Research. doi:10.2501/IJMR-53-5-619-650
  18. 18. References Feather, J. (2013). The information society: a study of continuity and change (6th ed.). London: Facet Publishing. Foreman, J., & Thomson L. (2009) Government information literacy in the "century of information". Journal of Information Literacy, 3(2), 64-72 Heeney, C. (2012). Breaching the contract? Privacy and the UK Census. The Information Society. doi:10.1080/01972243.2012.709479 Kauhanen-Simanainen, A. (2007). Corporate literacy: discovering the senses of the organisation. Oxford National Audit Office (2013). Building capability in the Senior Civil Service to meet today's challenges, Report by the Controller and Auditor General. London. The Stationery Office (HC 129) Retrieved from http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10167-001-Full-Report.pdf Simpson, S., & Dorling, D. (1994). Those missing millions: implications for social statistics of non- response to the 1991 Census. Journal of Social Policy. Retrieved from http://journals.cambridge.org/production/action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=3322620 Talbot, C., & Talbot, C. (2014). Sir Humphrey and the professors: What does Whitehall want from academics?. White, I. (2009). The 2011 census taking shape: methodological and technological developments. Population Trends, (136), 64–72. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19606600
  19. 19. @sherpalynn www.informingthegoodsociety.com @ingsocproject

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