Simon Leech – Project I

Local Data Spaces Capability Support 

This project is a joint venture by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the ESRC’s Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) programme. The Local Data Spaces (LDS) project is being funded by ADR UK to utilise COVID-19 data hosted within the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS) in response to Local Authority user needs identified by JBC arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The principal research objective of this project is ”to use health data from the Test and Trace programme, non-health data provisioned by the ONS and the JBC and Local Authority ingested data to create novel and innovative insights in support of individual Local Authority policy needs”.   

Myself, and three other academic researchers (from University College London and the University of Liverpool), are engaged in this project to work with Local Authorities to produce policy-relevant analyses, data outputs and data linkages. This work is directed by the needs of Local Authorities, which includes understanding diverse research questions such as: Local Authority Profiles (descriptive statistics and trends stratified by demographics and other variables that can be compared across Local Authorities), and inequalities in infection/mortality and testing uptake.  

This work will use secured ONS datasets such as: NHS Test and Trace Data, COVID-19 Surveys, any relevant Local Authority datasets, the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and Access to Healthy Assets & Hazards (AHAH).  

The outputs generated from this will include: data visualisations; aggregated data, descriptive statistics and trends; and open-source methodology and code. It is hoped that this work will inform policy and decision making in Local Authorities, by providing high-quality data and analysis in response to specific Local Authority needs. The benefit of one arm of this work is drawn from the ability to easily compare multiple Local Authority profiles to aid effective policy decisions. This work may also produce academic publications depending on the nature of Local Authorities requirements.