Main Article Content
The WA Child Development Atlas (CDA) is a unique resource that generates geographic profiles of the development, health and well-being of WA children. The CDA has been developed at the Telethon Kids Institute with funding from the Ian Potter and Minderoo Foundations and in partnership with government agencies and service providers.
Objectives and Approach
Visualisation of data within geographic boundaries helps to build a picture of ‘place’. This informs better decision making and underpins the development of evidence-based policy and service planning that acknowledges the differing needs of communities.
The CDA is an online, interactive mapping tool that utilises geographic information system (GIS) technologies to identify spatial patterns in population-level child and youth development indicators. Data are sourced from core health, social, and linked administrative datasets, from 1990 onwards. Aggregated, de-identified data on children and young people (0-24 years) and their parents are mapped within geographic boundaries across WA.
The CDA was piloted to ensure it is useful and relevant to a diversity of stakeholders. Extensive community consultation has been undertaken at all stages of the project. The CDA has been received favourably by consumers, government organisations, communities and researchers, with significant support for public launch.
The CDA is a freely available, confidential and secure resource. Features of the CDA include: it is online and interactive (no software is required), area profiles, downloadable charts, tables and summary statistics, map panning and zooming. The Atlas has been used to generate community profiles and empowers all the people of WA with enhanced knowledge and understanding of the development of children.
Conclusion / Implications
The CDA has built capacity to use spatial information, assisting agencies who make decisions relevant to child development and to facilitate cross-agency collaboration. It is an important and valuable resource utilising disparate data sources with significant public benefit.
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