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RDS joins ADR Scotland Programme

ADR Scotland logo on a green background

Research Data Scotland

13 Nov 2023

Research Data Scotland (RDS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Scottish Government, detailing how the organisation will help to deliver core elements of the ADR Scotland programme.

This programme – part of ADR UK and funded by the ESRC – is helping to make administrative datasets more readily linkable and securely available for research on a suite of critical issues in Scotland, including children's lives and outcomes, lifelong health and wellbeing, health and social care, poverty and fair work, and building safer communities.

Since April 2023, RDS has received additional funding from Scottish Government to support the delivery of the programme on practical data work around ingesting and updating data. This work will contribute to ensuring better alignment across the Scottish system and so increase the impact of the ADR investment. With the signing of the MoU, RDS have agreed to deliver across various project workstreams, including data prioritisation and data curation.  

As well as supporting Scottish Government with their contribution to the programme, RDS will work in complementary ways with the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) and other delivery bodies supporting the programme, such as Public Health Scotland, National Records of Scotland, and Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC).

Professor Roger Halliday, CEO of Research Data Scotland, said:  

“I'm delighted to share the news that Research Data Scotland is supporting Scottish Government to deliver this important project. Currently, our main role in working with organisations is to simplify and speed up the way that researchers access data. 


“Assisting on the ADR Scotland programme, which is making administrative datasets more readily linkable, is a fantastic opportunity for us to help make more of our public sector data, which ultimately will improve the lives of people in Scotland.”

Professor Roger Halliday, CEO of Research Data Scotland

Ally McAlpine, Chief Statistician for Scottish Government and Codirector of ADR Scotland, said:  

“Our work with Research Data Scotland brings forward exciting opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative data. We need to unlock the value of administrative datasets by making it more accessible to the research community. We will work with RDS to capitalise on the potential from our data and drive change for the better in Scotland.”

ADR Scotland (Administrative Data Research Scotland) is a partnership combining specialists in the Scottish Government’s Data for Research Unit with the expertise of academic researchers at the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR). Together they are transforming how public sector data in Scotland is curated, accessed and explored, so it can deliver its full potential for policymakers and for the public.

The Data for Research unit within the Scottish Government is leading on the discovery and sourcing of public sector datasets for research. They ensure appropriate information governance is in place, prior to other delivery bodies preparing and ingesting data into the ADR Scotland Infrastructure and National Safe Haven. Work is also being done with delivery partners to develop geospatial capability within the ADR Scotland Infrastructure to enhance potential research.

The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) analyses data from across the public sector to inform policy and benefit society. The SCADR team also deliver training and public engagement to support and advance the use of administrative data. 



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