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Executive Summary

The DSFA corporate mission is �to promote a caring society through ensuring access to income supports and other services, enabling active participation, promoting social inclusion and supporting families�. While the Department has developed the operational capacity to ensure efficient access to income supports, the active participation and social inclusion objectives require DSFA to measure the effectiveness of its policy interventions. This should be done through analysis of past and present administrative data to see �what worked� for various groups. Also, social surveys and social research give insights into the wider influences behind outcomes for DSFA customers. The Department needs to fully exploit administrative data, in conjunction with other social statistics, to fully understand these complex outcomes.

Chapter 2 of the Strategy covers data needs across the life-cycle, with an emphasis on upcoming medium term policy and operational developments. For DSFA data, a profiling approach is recommended, which will allow data to be analysed over the course of a life-cycle as well as within administrative (scheme) boundaries. Recommendations for development of CSO and other National statistical sources are outlined in this chapter, as these statistics should provide a useful monitoring framework for DSFA policies.

Chapter 3 covers capacity and infrastructural issues, which are the �enablers� that are needed to ensure that data and statistics are properly used in the Department. Issues in relation to data quality standards, data ownership, information infrastructure, data protection, analytical capacity, communication of user needs and supporting wider social research initiatives are examined in this chapter.

Finally, the main strategic actions needed to progress the strategy are set out during the text and are summarised in the Corporate Information Strategy Action Plan (appendix).

Last modified:01/09/2009

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