Technical considerations when implementing digital infrastructure for social policy

Stream: Big data and social policy
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 1.25 pm – 2.25 pm


With the increasing prevalence of social policy and administrative data and the proliferation of advanced computational methods in policy and decision-making, there is an increasing need for adequate digital infrastructure that allows policymakers and social sciences researchers to securely and ethically access and manipulate the data. Building such digital infrastructure requires the development of a secure environment that can offer a complete set of analytical tools and data sets from multiple sources while complying with legislative and ethical requirements. While some reference implementation already exist across the globe, building digital infrastructure continues to be a challenge and technical barrier for the ubiquitous use of social administrative data in social policy development and implementation. A review of existing digital infrastructure for data-driven social policy has identified common features across a number of social policy domains and jurisdictions. These features span technical desiderata (hardware, databases), information flows (e.g. federated data) and business rules for using data. The paper introduces a model that describes these desiderata as a scaffolding of six areas of interest (data exchange, data integration, information delivery, data analysis, data interpretation, data operationalisation) and how it can be used to design future digital infrastructure.


Marco Fahmi (Presenter), University of Queensland
Marco's role is to create opportunities for digital research activities by connecting UQ researchers to technical experts, setting up digital research projects, getting input from different parts of the university to meet digital researchers' needs, developing collaborations, managing digital research support services. and ensuring that digital research is a visible and valued activity at UQ. Marco's RCC role is a joint appointment by UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS), UQ Library and RCC to provide digital research support services across the university.

David Abramson, University of Queensland
Professor Abramson has been involved in computer architecture and high performance computing research since 1979.

He has held appointments at Griffith University, CSIRO, RMIT and Monash University.

Prior to joining UQ, he was the Director of the Monash e-Education Centre, Science Director of the Monash e-Research Centre, and a Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash.

From 2007 to 2011 he was an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow.