ADR Scotland (Administrative Data Research Scotland) is a partnership combining specialists in the Scottish Government’s Data for Research Unit with the expertise of academic researchers at the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research. Together they are transforming how public sector data in Scotland is curated, accessed and explored, so it can deliver its full potential for policymakers and for the public.
ADR Scotland is helping to make administrative datasets more readily linkable and conducting research on a suite of critical issues in Scotland, from health and social care to lifelong wellbeing, and from poverty and fair work to building safer communities.
The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) – hosted by the University of Edinburgh but involving academic researchers from across Scotland – brings many years of experience in understanding administrative data sets and their analysis, a track-record of methodological innovation, and a strong independent stakeholder network.
The Scottish Government brings proven experience in managing data-sharing and linkage projects, as well as access to and understanding of policymakers in government, and expertise in information governance. It is committed to taking forward a programme of work to develop a new infrastructure to support administrative data research.
ADR Scotland projects are commissioned in line with the ADR Scotland Strategy, which uses administrative data to focus on research that brings public benefit which responds to policy priorities in Scotland.
ADR Scotland is funded directly by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) with a dedicated portion of the total investment in ADR UK, currently until March 2026. To find out more about how ADR UK is funded, see About Us. Further details of the grants awarded to Scottish Government and the University of Edinburgh can be seen on UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)’s Gateway to Research platform.
Working with ADR Scotland
ADR Scotland have developed a series of short guides to help data controllers understand how they can safely and securely have their data used as part of the ADR Scotland programme of research:
"Scotland is fortunate to have some of the best data in the world. Bringing this data together can help address complex social challenges and fill vital evidence gaps to systematically improve the lives of the people of Scotland, saving time, money and lives. I am very excited about the opportunity to play a key part in this UK-wide transformation programme revolutionising access to public sector data."
Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician for the Scottish Government
ADR Scotland Projects
Engaging with Children
10 August 2022
In this new pilot project, ADR Scotland is working in partnership with Children in Scotland to talk with children and young people directly to learn about their views on administrative data, how it is collected, stored and used and to discuss how results of research projects using data are communicated.
Violence-related incidents and underlying vulnerability
27 January 2020
This research will explore how factors like mental health conditions, drug use and alcohol relate to incidents of violence and related demands for public services in Scotland.
Illegal drug consignments
27 January 2020
This research aims to explore the illegal drugs supply in Scottish communities (particularly by post), focusing on the impacts of law enforcement tactics used to counter the delivery of drugs.
ADR Scotland News
ADR UK’s four national partnerships publish strategies for 2022-2026
10 May 2022
ADR UK has published strategies from each of the four Administrative Data Research partnerships of the UK. These plans will support our mission to transform the way researchers access the UK’s wealth of public sector data.
ADR UK responds to ICO consultation on draft anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies guidance
9 May 2022
The ADR UK partnership has responded to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s call for views on its draft guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies.
ADR UK responds to the right to privacy: digital data consultation
22 March 2022
This inquiry is exploring the ways data is currently shared and used across government, the public sector, and industry, as well as the need to balance people's privacy with the need for effective data use.
ADR Scotland Partners
Find out more
If you are a Scottish data holder or policy maker interested in how ADR Scotland can help increase the utility of your data and support your decision making priorities, please get in touch with the ADR Scotland team.