Covid-19 impact analysis reports for all local authorities in England are now available online

The Local Data Spaces (LDS) programme is a collaboration between the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and ADR UK. It is using de-identified Covid-19 data from the national Test and Trace programme, alongside health and administrative data from ONS and local authorities themselves, to understand the spread of the pandemic in their areas and its impact on their communities.

As part of the programme, ADR UK funded a group of four Consumer Data Researcher Centre (CDRC) researchers – Dr Mark Green (University of Liverpool), Dr Jacob MacDonald (University of Liverpool), Dr Maurizio Gibin (UCL) and Simon Leech (University of Leeds) – to undertake a six-month pilot project to provide analysis on behalf of local authorities in need of greater support, directed by their policy needs. The research team co-designed the analyses alongside local authorities, ensuring the reports generated were relevant and useful, and helped fill evidence gaps at the local level.

After engaging the JBC and 25 local authorities, the researchers identified two consistent core research priorities: broader Covid-19 health impacts and inequalities; and economic vulnerability and recovery potential. From this, leveraging the secure data available through the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS), they developed a series of 10 reports for each authority. These reports were then replicated for all local authorities across England.

For each local area, a set of reports are built to profile the themes of:

  1. Demographic inequalities in Covid-19
  2. Ethnic inequalities in Covid-19
  3. Geospatial Inequalities in Covid-19
  4. Excess mortality
  5. Occupational inequalities
  6. Population, housing and affordability
  7. Social economy
  8. Industry densities
  9. Economic vulnerabilities
  10. Human mobility

To produce the reports, the researchers made use of the highly detailed administrative and survey datasets held securely within the ONS SRS. This included core national data products such as NHS Test and Trace; the Covid-19 Infection Survey; the Business Structure Dataset (BSD) registry; and the Business Registry and Employment Survey (BRES). Non-disclosive research work was conducted within the SRS secure environment. These data sources were supplemented where relevant with openly available datasets, such as the ONS Population Estimates, Google Mobility Data and CDRC open data products, such as the CDRC Business Census and Access to Healthy Assets and Hazards (AHAH).

In the short term, it is hoped that the reports will be used by local authorities and stakeholders, allowing them access to an evidence base on the impact of Covid-19 at a local level, to explore these avenues for their own local research priorities. Locally focused research and data is clearly in demand, and this resource will be a key part in local authorities’ response to Covid-19.

All R scripts, both for data cleaning and analyses, are available for re-use by local authority analysts or local researchers, enabling reproduction and even extension of the analyses.

Find out more about the Local Data Spaces programme.



For more information on Local Authority Engagement and access to the shareable R Scripts within the ONS SRS, please contact Victoria Chenery:

For more information on the ADR UK funded researchers and their analyses, please contact Mark Green:

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