Provincial Data-linkage to Address Complex Policy Challenges

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Jeremy Coad Caelan Marrville Dan MacKenzie Lori Henderson Naomi Pope Brett Wilmer Martin Monkman Lindsay Bisschop Gordon Black Mahi Boozarjomehri Chelsea Chalifour Sarah Fraser Julie Hawkins Cheryl McLay Raphael Parra Hernandez Amy Wongkanlayanush Dennis Zakopcan
Published online: Aug 29, 2018

The Province of British Columbia, Canada has established a Data Innovation Program (DI Program) and a Data Science Partnerships Program (DSP Program) to use integrated public-sector data to drive insights into complex policy challenges and support the public good. These programs are a part of the province's new Integrated Data.

Objectives and Approach
The DI Program was built to enable policy decisions based on a more complete picture of the citizen journey across and throughout government programs. It provides a privacy and security framework for corporate data analytics and a cross-government secure research environment. The DSP Program provides analytics and/or project support for high-priority cross-government projects. The opportunity afforded by this approach to policy decision-making is that valuable data and evidence from multiple sectors can be utilized to make positive changes in the lives of citizens.

The IDO has partnered with cross government experts on a series of pilot projects that used linked data spanning social services, families and households, education, and health and clinical records. Research topics ranged from the prediction of risk of long-term unemployment, to the impact of the foreign home buyers tax, to the effectiveness of labour market programs. Throughout our presentation we will use these projects as case examples to address the benefits and opportunities provided through our citizen-centred, integrated approach.

The future of policy decision-making in terms of service delivery relies on mutually beneficial collaboration and the evidence-based insight available through integrated data. Moving forward, it is essential that researchers across government make the most out of integrated population-level data to solve pressing issues affecting the lives of citizens.

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