Population Data Gaps Workshop 8 June 2006 ABS House AGENDA ITEM 4 INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS The Questions? We can see that our concern about data gaps driven by several distinct phenomenon. A. There are huge changes underway in how economies function, how societies change, in the place of government, and in community concern for the state of the world The 1980’s saw the coming of major shifts in the rate of change of institutions, exchanges across the globe, mobility of people, and the interdependence of man and the environment. Much of this is summarised in the chart below. Shifting context of public policy post 1970’s Policy domain Shift in emphasis Change from universal programmes, to programmes targeted at Social specific communities defined by geography, ethnicity or economic situation. Considerable growth in non-traditional family forms. Open labour markets broaden change in work patterns and rewards. Policy emphasis more on managing expectations for inflation, than on Economic income stability and industrial development. National economy less able to be delineated, through established structures. Trends in value added difficult to compare as service economy dominates. Ethnic diversity and changing nature of immigration alongside low Population fertility and living much longer. Cohort effects influence population trends complicate forecasts. Looser delineation of government, extended role of private sector, Government consumer oriented performance expectations of government, deregulation of activity Global warming, biotechnology, bio-security and environmental Environment protection Unbounded economic participation and shifts in competitiveness Globalisation ongoing, new economic organisation, high population mobility Information focused business organisation, real time operations, Information integration of information to create new business, reduction in “tyranny technology of distance” INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 1 The knowledge of these huge shifts and the impacts already seen elsewhere in the world give some indication of what might arise in Australia, that would bring changes to the fundamental assumptions that underpin policy in the coming decades. The effect of these global shifts is already seen in revisions to critical statistical measures which undermine their value in policy formation, (life expectancy, small area population counts, migration flows, family formation, savings). We have seen a significant rise in the importance of international comparisons, and international flows, stocks and imbalances. We need to know about the more diverse communities we have, and about the impact of the post war baby boomers as they live longer than any earlier generation, and continue as a strong economic force in consumption, investment and employment. We see our capacity to influence health and welfare occur at a time when expectations rise even faster. The shifts will affect the wealth creation potential of Australia. We expect to see information technology and globalisation bring many more changes to the mix of jobs in Australia, and in the forms of engagement in work, training at work and the nature of the workplace. Policies which respond to some of these shifts need to recognise the other changes that are occurring alongside them, so that the same instruments (taxation, regulation, education for example) are not adopted in contradictory ways. We need to understand more about the health, education, employment and income of each population cohort, so we can anticipate health and consumption in later life. For example, as life expectancy increases, we see that a good share of older people act as they used to do at younger ages. Living longer opens up prospects for new stages in the typical life cycle and the extension and continued evolution of established stages. The recognition of changes in this pattern of living will is obscured by socio-economic, ethnic, gender and regional differences in the nature and timing of these shifts, and limitations in our means of recognising them until they are well established. The reporting of economic and social conditions and well-being, and the measurement of populations that are the focus of policy attention and public interest has brought about significant changes in the emphasis on survey frame management and the critical relevance of having administrative registers available to inform official statistics. B. We are seeing a huge necessity for a more informed community, from the increase in choice for policy and personal decisions, in government, community public and private domains. INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 2 Perceptions and attitudes may make people more or less risk adverse. The net effect may be uncertain, and may differ across the community. We need to better understand how the differences in perceptions that people have can affect the success of policy. We are not clear on what makes people decide things, even where we think that they have very sound information. We may only fully understand the limits to the quality of some information, such as life expectancy projections, some decades after it has been critical in making a long term choice in public policy. Individuals vary greatly in how they learn what are regarded as facts, and how far they qualify their trust in them by their own experience. Personal experiences may remain etched in the memory, regardless of contrary evidence. In the areas of retirement provision and savings, there is some evidence that these effects can be quite substantial. For example, we know that those in poorer economic situations often have lower life expectancy than average, but even then people in this group may still underestimate their true life expectancy, and hence undervalue the benefits from personal saving. The information and communication technologies, through the internet, mobile phones and the immediacy of news reporting have put the world on the doorstep, and the community has new ways of engaging on matters of world concern, most especially world poverty, the environment, human rights, and war. The accumulation of that concern is seen in ways of making comparisons, including statistical measures, often prepared outside governmental bodies. In daily living, the higher incomes of most, and the expectation of living longer, has generally given each cohort more opportunity than its predecessor to engage in leisure, extended education and personal care and development. A growing share of the population have employment income that enables retirement to come with choices not available to their parents’ generation. The extended choices between consumption or investment embrace decisions about health, education and family as well as savings and home investment. People now have to balance their own life time expectations, and rely on information about life expectancy, quality of life and health from statistics, because the observation of those older who are around us has far less relevance for future generations. Understanding health inequalities, broader measures of savings and retirement provision, and observing the changing patterns of the life-cycle are becoming quite critical if we are to assess reliably the capacity of individuals within an ageing population to adapt. We may expect cohort differences, including in attitudes and understanding that have a huge impact on the effectiveness of policy. C. There is now a strong desire to use progress indicators in judging outcomes of choice, in governments, the community and in international bodies. INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 3 Progress indicators usually involve a rich presentation capability, often better than that of governments. Indicator systems have grown significantly in the past 5 years, in international organisations, governments, non-government organisations, community bodies, research institutions and among commercial information providers. International 1. The OECD Global Forum is a series of international conventions (2004, 2007) intended to create and crystallise expectations among decision- makers of what is possible. The OECD aims to build a wide constituency for the free spread and use of quantitative information about societies. The conventions seek to generate an enthusiasm for the seemingly mundane activities of standards methods which greatly increase the value and uses of information sources, so that people can see real events which have gained from timely and decisive action that good information enables. Themes of development, dissemination and decision-making 2. The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals - measurable goals and targets for combating hunger, poverty, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women 3. European Union Sustainable development indicators, inform on progress with a strategy to reconcile economic development, social cohesion and protection of the environment. 4. European Union Structural Indicators (the Lisbon Agenda) - shortlist of 14 structural indicators 5. OECD Fact book: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics More than 100 indicators cover a wide range of areas Governments 1. Performance targets have a major place and impact in the UK, and the UK experiences are relevant for those elements of government service and change delivery that are measurable. For activities that remain in the public sector after outsourcing and privatisation, this makes them by definition incomplete, in that the things that are readily specified in contracts generally would have been outsourced. Otherwise they continue to be provided by government because public sector contestability is clear, or no contractual arrangement can be readily specified. What performance targets can therefore miss, is the achievements of the larger share of the management and political agenda, outlined above. Thus, government management change is therefore only partially encapsulated in performance targets. As noted above, where there are no fully representative, robust measures, then government management change is no less relevant or likely to have taken place. More generally, performance management is much more than monitoring targets. 2. Neighbourhood statistics INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 4 3. Australia: Measures of Australia’s Progress (MAP) MAP is based around 15 or so headline dimensions of progress that span the economy, society and the environment. Forty or so supplementary indicators help paint a broader picture of national progress 1. USA: In 2004 the General Accounting Office released a report on Informing Our Nation: Improving How to Understand and Assess the USA's Position and Progress. 2. USA – Oregon: Oregon Shines(a broad array of up to 100 social, economic and environmental indicators, including K-12 student achievement, per capita income, air quality, crime rates, employment, and infant health.) 3. The United Kingdom: Indicators for Sustainable Development a suite of 68 national sustainable development indicators 4. Ireland: Measuring Ireland’s Progress 108 key indicators of national progress, benchmarked against other countries Table: Comparison of forms of measurement Performance targets Progress Indicators Official Statistics Political leadership of goals Public interest, use and Professional leadership, and delivery direction across all domains specific use, user focus, of society framework driven Commitment to measuring Quantifying community goals Strong information base of what government does rather and values, and what is measurable, robust to than what it spends understanding of what is variety of purposes by expert important users. Strong infrastructure makes major change slow. Direct policy linkage Outcome focus makes Context for all policies, linkage to any specific policy causality established by indirect analysis Delineates good/ bad General trust and Sound information for some achievement accessibility of information on decisions what society is about Political selection of Public ownership of choices Independent, rigid, focused measures, and management and processes, subject to on integrity of process, public of context of release. continual challenge of access access slow to develop, Regularly disputed and relevance periodic challenge of relevance Emphasis on programme Emphasis on human Emphasis on technical links dimension of statistics oversight Political oversight ongoing Development and use by Use by professional elite social networks Community and NGO Progress indicators are one part of a broader statistical information capability that is needed for communities, governments, nations and the globe itself. They are how we describe a growing, world-wide movement to bring about new ways to make sure that decisions that are made about our societies are based on well formed evidence, that everyone can have and trust. Progress INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 5 indicators advance and represent the knowledge and understanding all citizens can have about their society, and about what they value about it, as well as mankind’s influence on the world as a secure place for future generations. To a policymaker, parliamentarian, civil society leader or similar, indicators of societal progress are important, and can change the way they act, because they can be: a. A bridge between anecdote and national/global reporting on things relevant to you b. A challenge to intuition/ guess/ theory by extending the accessible statistical information base c. A tool for benchmarking, and a regular spotlight on issues d. Often and increasingly available as by-products of some existing process e. Often timely f. Built upon by continuing downstream development of standards that extend comparability The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is one of the best examples of NGO led activity. Progress and performance indicators usually give partial information, and broad based studies may periodically enable the focus of indicators to put into proper context, without which conclusions on well being may be quite misleading. D. The growing limitations in the capacity to measure populations have not been significantly offset by statistical improvements We need to understand what are going to become hard questions for the future about population measurement: This will include the capacity for empirical estimation of traditional “hard” thresholds like retirement age. Integration, coherence and comparability of statistics: Across all fields of statistics, integration and coherence will be central to statistical improvements, and need not be traded off as timeliness improvements occur. Survey design will reinforce integration. This will also be reinforced by estimation and balancing methods. Reliance on modelling will be reduced by statistical matching, strong and relevant frames and registers, and high response rates in statistical sources where subgroup comparisons are critical. Improve timeliness of statistics of various types: We need to understand more of the immediate uses of each set of official statistics, to assess the degree of challenge needed to be given to current performance levels. Our goals need to be quite stretching. INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 6 Multi-national participation in processing and measurement: • The statistical processes, including statistical frames, will respond quickly by opportunities from new information sources, from scanner data, and other digitised transaction information • Statistical sources will be extended to cover multinational measures, and facilitate more cross country coherence in statistics, such as migration. • A multinational approach to statistical measurement will dominate future improvements in methods and survey practice in international migration, price indexes, including hedonic measures, multinational enterprise production and profits, foreign trade flows (Intrastate), foreign investment, among other areas. • Those families of household surveys that are expected to provide derived statistics or close relationships between measures obtained from separate sources will share common elements in the survey design that facilitate increased coherence and less variable relationships across series. Expectations and attitudes portray a different view of the world: Perceptions and attitudes may make people more or less risk adverse. The net effect may be uncertain, and may differ across the community. We need to better understand how the differences in perceptions that people have can affect the success of policy. We are not clear on what makes people decide things, even where we think that they have very sound information. We may only fully understand the limits to the quality of some information, such as life expectancy projections, some decades after it has been critical in making a long term choice in public policy. Individuals vary greatly in how they learn what are regarded as facts, and how far they qualify their trust in them by their own experience. Personal experiences may remain etched in the memory, regardless of contrary evidence. In the areas of retirement provision and savings, there is some evidence that these effects can be quite substantial. E. We need to understand and make transparent the tensions in the range of policy settings usually considered in the public domain, in each main policy area. The mantra of “What works” has obscured our capacity to understand the broader philosophical underpinnings of policy. In all areas of policy the differences in policy orientation is a shift in the balance of emphasis in the central tensions of the sector. The job of the statistician is to understand those tensions so that public information informs us not only about policies in place today, but those that might well be at some time in the future. The table below indicates some of these tensions. INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 7 Policy area Policy tension Prison policy Rehabilitation, deterrence or punishment? Accident Insurance Prevention, rehabilitation or income replacement Pensions Poverty alleviation or income replacement? Public Health Reduce inequality in outcomes or lift the lowest groups? Child poverty Focus on children or parents? INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 8 The Answers? How can we increase our capacity for measurement? A. We can learn from the solutions and responses now being put in place elsewhere • To maintain the quality of population measurement, in the UK, USA, France, there has been a strong shift to improve annual estimates of population, even where it reduces power of decennial census. • Extend traditional approaches of survey design and survey frame management [address registers, administrative data, economic and social data integration, longitudinal surveys] • Greater role of surveys designed for cross country comparisons (PISA, EU SILC) • Increased importance of managing international coherence and comparison (migration, fertility, life expectancy) • Extend scale of researcher access to unit record data • Shift in importance of measuring variety of attitudes and perceptions about basic facts when applying policy where huge shifts going on in Life expectancy, Disability • Actions to sustain level of survey response • Possibility of major extensions of small area analysis through effective area classification (UK Neighbourhood statistics) • Macro-micro cohesion by design • Better presentation (Gap minder, UK Neighbourhood statistics) B. We can act now on what are seen in many countries as the more important priorities for the statistical system • Strengthen professional capacity across government for analysis and linking analysis and policy. (UK Developing Professional Capacity agenda, Integrating Analysis agenda). We need to recognise that new generations of students use technology to develop skills and form networks in a way that we should draw on to extend how we relate to others • Record linkage across time, and sources (UK population census longitudinal links 1971-2005), (NZ population census and death record linkages 1986-2001) , (Denmark administrative record census) (Canada linkage of migrant and migrant children tax records) (UK Neighbourhood statistics) • Strengthen and extend researcher access to unit record data • Build cross government research strategies.(UK DTI) C. There are ways that we might establish statistical priorities more effectively INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 9 • We could establish strong synergies between social research, medical science and official statistics development agenda. We could assess priorities across the whole science sector. In the UK, social research funding co-ordination by the ESRC now includes cross-sectoral assessment of gaps in all research. • Greater emphasis on participation and facilitation of international comparison studies. These can draw on existing sources, either aggregate or unit record, or lead to new surveys (for example, PISA) • To help understand emerging critical questions and continually refresh the issues that official statistics and research must address, then nationally important externally established policy reviews should be required to include a review of statistical priorities on the topic (NZ Pensions task force of 1997 reported on need for wealth survey, UK Turner review on life expectancy forecasts). • We need to strengthen statistics and research through having a solid base in registers of address, person or business. This will require drawing on available administrative sources from federal, state, local government academic and community information where relevant, with the capacity to match against registers, other sources • We need to strengthen how far we can through survey design and management of statistical sources increase the coherence of statistical sources. We need to develop a clear focus for integration activities in the statistical system (ethnicity, small area, population age group, • There could be a high level of engagement at operational and strategic level in challenging the existing statistical programmes (UK model, key relationship with Bank of England, HMT, DWP, including Service Level Agreements across key departments) • Hard problems need the best brains. Extend engagement in assessing statistical priorities to expert thinkers in relevant fields (UK government performance review, by Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, UK regional statistics review by Prof Christopher Alsop) • Reflect political agenda through research leadership by policy and research teams (UK policy action teams in 1998-1999) • We can extend the capability of the 21st century technology base that underpins much of ABS statistics, especially to extend the way in which statistics are made accessible and presented to the general public. • Become bolder about advising on the limits to statistical measurement. Len Cook Wellington, New Zealand 8 June 2006 INTERNATIONAL MODELS AND EXPERIENCES FOR ADDRESSING MAJOR GAPS - Population Wellbeing Data Gaps Workshop, ABS House, 8 June 2006 - page 10
"Data gaps Population (1)"