Linking Federal Administrative Records to Respondents and Nonrespondents in Household Surveys: A Case Study IJPDS (2017) Issue 1, Vol 1:169, Proceedings of the IPDLN Conference (August 2016)

Main Article Content

Joseph Sakshaug
Manfred Antoni
Reinhard Sauckel
Published online: Apr 18, 2017


ABSTRACT


Background
In response to increasing nonresponse rates in household surveys, auxiliary information is being sought to augment survey samples and adjust for possible nonresponse bias in key survey estimates. Auxiliary data options are typically limited in most general population surveys and there are questions concerning their utility for nonresponse adjustment. Federal administrative databases provide a potentially rich source of auxiliary information for nonresponse adjustment, but linking them to general population samples is usually restricted to surveys which draw their samples from population registers containing unique personal identity numbers which can be directly linked to federal databases.


Method
In this article, we examine the feasibility of linking a federal administrative database to a general population survey sample without a unique identifier. We employ a series of indirect linkage procedures that rely instead on non-unique and error-prone identifiers collected from the sampling frame to link a federal employment database to a general population survey in Germany. The quality and selectivity of the established links are evaluated using household- and person-level interview data in accordance with German data protection laws.


Results
We report a linkage rate of 60 percent for the entire sample under a strict linkage criterion, and 80 percent under a more relaxed criterion. Linkage rates varied across some household- and person-level characteristics that are likely specific to the particular administrative database used in this case study.


Conclusion
We conclude with a general discussion of the practical implications of this work for survey organizations considering performing similar linkages and highlight some opportunities for future linkage research.


Background

As part of an initiative funded by FARR institute, Swansea University Health Informatics Unit embarked on the creation of the UK Secure e-Research Platform (UKSeRP) to both build on the experience developed by the SAIL databank over many years and to create an infrastructure that can support, at scale, multiple national research programmes.

Method

The system was created utilising the in-house technical staff and combines multiple vender solutions all orchestrated through bespoke developments. The same team also developed the National Research Data Appliance (NRDA) and elements of this initiate were integrated into the core of this development.

Results

The system went live at the end of February 2016 and is already supporting five national level research programmes. The presentation will show now the system is architected and how it evolved over time as additional opportunities arose. It is imperative to both provide common architecture and systems that can scale to meet the research programmes needs and yet still allow for additional unique aspects to be provisioned that deliver against the programmes research goals and differing governance models.

The platform has gained an ISO 27001 accreditation which provided clear control and management over information security but also allows programmes utilising the platform to inherit these key controls and if desirable to gain their own accreditation easier, as the SAIL Databank has demonstrated.

The platform has an ambitus road map and is currently adding imaging capabilities supported by an imaging processing pipeline. Genomics handling, processing and analysis capabilities are being added in the next couple of months.

Conclusion

The demand for UKSeRP has been higher than initially envisaged and the possible use cases are constantly being imagined. We are also introducing an entry level UKSeRP to support individual projects and their requirements.

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