ADR UK is made up of three national partnerships (ADR Scotland, ADR Wales, and ADR NI), and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which ensures data provided by UK Government bodies is accessed by researchers in a safe and secure form with minimal risk to data holders or the public.
Data access services are provided by the data centres in ADR Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by the Secure Research Service of the Office for National Statistics.
Data acquisition is led by ONS, who link and curate these data into a ‘research ready’ form, designed to meet the research requirements arising from Government’s Areas of Research Interest and strategically important questions arising from ESRC’s priority topics.
The partnership is coordinated by a UK-wide Strategic Hub, which also promotes the benefits of administrative data research to the public and the wider research community, engages with UK Government to secure access to data, and manages a dedicated research budget.
Good government policy – policy that solves social and economic problems and improves lives – needs good evidence. But good quality evidence is expensive and time-consuming to produce, and evidence from academic research can also have a different focus from what government needs most to make policy decisions and deliver effective services.
ADR UK’s mission is to solve both these problems by transforming the way researchers access the UK’s wealth of public sector data. By joining up the abundance of administrative data already being created by government and public bodies across the UK and making it available for researchers, we are enabling vital research that has the potential to lead to better informed policy decisions and more effective public services, in areas from improving education and healthcare to tackling crime.
ADR UK’s work plays an important role in bridging the gap between government and academia, enabling government policy to be informed by the best evidence available, and putting us on the path to a future in which the true potential of administrative data to improve society is realised.