ADR UK three years in: Harnessing the power of administrative data in the age of Covid-19


The past 12 months have demonstrated that timely access to high quality data is more important than ever for understanding and responding to social and economic challenges. From Covid-19 infection and mortality statistics, to information on the impact of lockdowns on businesses and education, data is essential for informing our response to the pandemic and our understanding of the wider impacts of that response.

This event is an opportunity to hear from data linkage and research experts from across ADR UK and beyond about their work, both in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and more broadly, and what the future holds for administrative data research.

ADR UK partners have played an important role in responding to Covid-19 across the UK: enabling access to crucial new datasets for research in the public interest; providing essential analysis of existing data; and contributing to data-led responses to the pandemic by the devolved and UK governments.

Meanwhile, our flagship projects in partnership with devolved and UK government departments and academic institutions are taking leaps and bounds to enable greater access to data in a range of policy areas including crime and justice, education, agriculture, housing and more.

The event has three focused sessions:

13:00-14:00: ADR UK at three: Progress and potential

Keynote speech by Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of The British Academy'The Covid Decade: a pandemic with a long shadow and what this might mean for data'.

What ADR UK has achieved since 2018 and what’s yet to come, including the launch of ADR England, chaired by Dr Emma Gordon, Director, ADR UK.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Alex Sutherland, Chief Scientist, Behavioural Insights Team
  • Professor Chris Dibben, Chair in Geography, University of Edinburgh & Co-Director, ADR Scotland
  • Professor David Ford, Professor of Health Informatics, Swansea University & Co-Director, ADR Wales
  • Professor Dermot O’Reilly, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast & Co-Director, ADR Northern Ireland


14:15-15:15: Data access and the Covid effect

How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted access to administrative data for policy-relevant research? Chaired by Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician, Scottish Government & Co-Director, ADR Scotland.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Stephanie Howarth, Chief Statistician for Welsh Government & Co-Director of ADR Wales
  • Carole Morris, Head of Service for Public Health Scotland
  • Bill South, Acting Deputy Director, Research Services and Data Access Division, Office for National Statistics
  • Dr Andrew Engeli, Deputy-Director, Innovation & Partnerships and Environmental Monitoring for Health Protection, Data and Data Science Directorate, Joint Biosecurity Centre


15:30-16:30: Research for public good

How can and should policymakers, academics, the third sector and the public alike be involved in administrative data research? Chaired by Ed Humpherson, Director General, Office for Statistics Regulation.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Aideen Maguire, Lecturer in Public Health, Queen's University Belfast
  • Trása Canavan, Senior Policy & Public Affairs Officer, Barnardo's Northern Ireland
  • John Hughes, Researcher & Statistician, Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA)
  • Professor Ruth Gilbert, University College London, Principal Investigator for the ECHILD project
  • Toby Ogun, Social Researcher, Ministry of Justice (Data First)



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