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Welsh Government Takes Innovative Approach to Policy Making in Wales


The Welsh Government has announced it’s working in partnership with data analysis experts from Swansea and Cardiff Universities to help inform and develop policy making in Wales, thanks to a £5.3 million investment from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

This innovative new partnership, Administrative Data Research Wales (ADR Wales), will see 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 joining forces with specialist teams within the Welsh Government. Together they will develop new evidence which supports the Welsh Government’s national strategy, Prosperity for All.

ADR Wales will use the SAIL Databank at Swansea University, to link and analyse anonymised data. This process will enable the Welsh Government to understand more about the relationship between different areas of public service delivery and gain a better understanding of people’s experience as they move through different services. This will support the development of collaborative and integrated policy to improve the lives of people in Wales.

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.

Chief Statistician for Wales and Co-Director of ADR Wales, Glyn Jones 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.

Co-Director of ADR Wales, Professor David Ford, said:

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.

Director of ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK) Strategic Hub, Dr Emma Gordon said:

ADR Wales is an important part of ADR UK. Working with partners in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Strategic Hub team and ONS, we will be unlocking the potential of administrative data and delivering new insights to inform policy decisions. ADR UK represents a unique opportunity for government departments to de-risk their data sharing activities, whilst increasing their access to academic expertise.


The Welsh Government is the devolved Government for Wales.

They are working to help improve the lives of people in Wales and make our nation a better place in which to live and work.

The Welsh Government consists of:

The First Minister
Welsh Ministers
The Counsel General
Deputy Ministers.

They are supported by civil servants who work across devolved areas that include key areas of public life such as health, education and the environment.

They aim to be open and responsive to the needs of citizens and communities and are one of the few governments in the world that publishes Cabinet minutes and papers. Responsibility for most key areas of public life including health, education and environment is devolved.

With offices across Wales, including Merthyr Tydfil, Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction, they are getting closer to the people they serve.


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