The event marked the end of ADR UK’s successful three-year pilot programme, for which the last year has been characterised by unexpected challenges and opportunities. With over 200 virtual attendees, it was an opportunity to hear from data linkage and research experts from across ADR UK and beyond about their work, both in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and more broadly, and what the future holds for administrative data research. It also featured the launch of the new ADR England to complete ADR UK’s four-nation partnership.

The afternoon kicked off with a keynote speech from Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of the British Academy, who emphasised the need for access to high-quality data as we suppress the immediate threat of the pandemic and enter ‘the Covid decade’. This was the backdrop against thought-provoking discussion amongst ADR UK Directors from across the partnership, joined by Dr Alex Sutherland, Chief Scientist for the Behavioural Insights Team, in Session one – ‘ADR UK at three: Progress and potential’ – chaired by ADR UK Director Dr Emma Gordon.

Session two, Data access and the Covid effect, chaired by Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician for Scottish Government and Co-Director of ADR Scotland, then looked at how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted access to administrative data for research, and what this means for data access post-pandemic. Joined by speakers at the heart of efforts to enable greater access to public sector data across the UK, discussions emphasised the importance of secure remote access to data in a timely way, and highlighted the need for trust and transparency in using data for research to maintain strong relationships between data owners, researchers and the public.

The event ended with a session on Research for public good, chaired by Ed Humpherson, Director General of the Office for Statistics Regulation. Project leads from across the ADR UK partnership spoke about their engagement with the public, academics and policymakers about their work, and discussed why this is such a crucial element of maximising the public benefit of administrative data research.

If you missed the event, you can now watch all three sessions on demand on the ADR UK YouTube channel. You can also view the full programme, including a full list of speakers in each session, on the event page.

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