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Interdisciplinary Research Cluster on Wellness Presents Connecting Social-Sector Data in Alberta

Posted on: Jan 15, 2018

The Interdisciplinary Research Cluster on Wellness presents: Dr. Jo Lamba and Dr. Jason Lau – Building Bridges: Connecting Social-Sector Data in Alberta on Monday January 22 at 4:00 – 5:00 pm in Room HA 206

Data collected by the myriad of government and non-profit agencies during the provision of health and social services represent a significant underutilized source of intelligence. Data are typically collected based on immediate need, rather than with a harmonized vision between organizations on how the data can be combined and harnessed to improve systemic service delivery. PolicyWise has spent the last ten years working with Alberta social-sector government ministries to anonymously link data through the Child and Youth Data Laboratory (CYDL) initiative. The CYDL focuses on understanding the experiences of Albertan children and youth as they develop over time through linkage of administrative data at an individual level. It has provided unprecedented insight into the journeys of Albertans through the health and social services sector. PolicyWise is now leveraging this expertise to help researchers and community organizations liberate data through SAGE (Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence), a repository platform that facilitates collaboration.

SAGE brings leadership, expertise and infrastructure that allows the sharing of data from community organizations with each other, and with researchers. This session will discuss the collaborative, cross-ministry approach of the CYDL and some high-level results from a longitudinal study of government administrative data. The session will also share lessons from the field in engaging with researchers, community organizations, and ethics, legal and privacy experts to facilitate data sharing through SAGE.

Presenter Bios

Jo Lamba (PhD): Specializing in ethnic minority relations, refugee/immigrant integration, and social research methods, Jo received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Alberta in 2002. Jo is currently a Research Scientist with PolicyWise’s Child and Youth Data Laboratory (CYDL). Prior to her role as Research Scientist at PolicyWise, she served as the national data manager for the New Canadian Children and Youth Study, a national, multi-disciplinary study examining the integration of immigrant and refugee children and youth. Jo also has extensive teaching experience in social research methods, the sociology of families, and Canadian society.

Jason Lau (PhD): Jason is the Director of Data Operations at PolicyWise. PolicyWise for Children & Families exists to improve well-being by leading, creating, enabling and mobilizing research and evaluation for evidence-informed policy and practice. He is responsible for the operations of the Child and Youth Data Laboratory (CYDL), Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence (SAGE) and supporting new data-driven projects that further the vision and mission of PolicyWise. Prior to joining PolicyWise, Jason was with Alberta Health developing partnerships in the research and innovation sector, as well as evidence-informed health policies. He has also served clinical operations roles in the pharmaceutical industry and earned a PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Alberta.