Administrative Data for Research and Improvement View all reports on this topic

Topic Overview

Administrative data are widely recognized as an underutilized resource for building knowledge to inform social service policy and program design. It is also potentially a more cost-effective source of information for this purpose than gathering original data. In order to realize this potential, administrative data need to be accessible to researchers, of high quality, and more easily linked or integrated while protecting privacy and confidentiality. Administrative data can sometimes eliminate the need for gathering original data. In other cases, it can extend the utility of survey data through data linkages, and provide a complementary source of knowledge.

Resources have been produced by OPRE and a number of other federal partners. Pages for these sources, including links to relevant resources offered by each, are provided below:

Projects on this Topic

  • Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) Evaluation, 2014-2021

    There is great interest in identifying effective strategies that build fathers’ capacity to support their children, both emotionally and financially. Since 2006, Congress has provided funds for discretionary grants to programs aimed at supporting fathers in three core areas....

  • Child Maltreatment Incidence Data Linkages (CMI Data Linkages), 2017 - 2020

    The Child Maltreatment Incidence Data Linkages (CMI Data Linkages) project will support ACF in identifying and enhancing existing administrative data linkage practices related to examining the incidence and risk of child maltreatment. Through the design and execution of a multi-site feasibility study, the CMI Data Linkages project will explore how enhancing and scaling innovative data linkage practices can improve our understanding of child maltreatment incidence and related risk and protective factors.

  • Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP)

    The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) was established by the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2016, jointly sponsored by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and signed by President Barack Obama on March 30, 2016. The Act recognizes that better use of existing data may improve how government programs operate. The mission of the Commission is to develop a strategy for increasing the availability and use of data in order to build evidence about government programs, while protecting privacy and confidentiality. Through the course of the Commission’s work...

  • Early Care and Education Data Archive, 2018 - 2023

    Project Overview

    The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) funds numerous data collection efforts through research studies on a wide-range...

  • HHS ASPE Publications, Administrative Data and Research

    Responsibilities of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, include coordinating the Department’s research and evaluation activities, carrying out its own research activities, and developing policy analyses. Listed below are ASPE reports that either use linked administrative data for research...

  • Improving Use of Administrative Data, 2018-2019

    Project Overview

    The purpose of this project is to develop recommendations and strategies that ACF can pursue to increase data accessibility...

  • National Academy of Sciences, Publications on Administrative Data

    The National Academy of Sciences, through the Committee on National Statistics and other committees, has produced a number of reports addressing issues related to linked federal administrative data used for research, with topics including data linking, privacy protection, and the development of longitudinal panel data to study long-term policy effects. Recent reports are listed below...

  • OMB Memoranda on Administrative Data

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has encouraged the development and use of administrative data for research purposes to inform a wide range of social policies. Below we list OMB memoranda that have provided guidance to federal agencies in these areas...

  • OPRE Publications, Administrative Data, and Research

    OPRE has overseen the production of numerous reports that demonstrate and discuss the use of administrative data for research to support social services overseen by ACF. The work ranges across a variety of substantive areas and data systems, and includes a strong focus on the development...

  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services Analysis Execution Project, 2018 - 2021

    Project Overview

    This project builds on the earlier OPRE Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services (RED) project. RED helped build a base of knowledge to inform the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)’s identification and understanding of ethnic and racial differences across the service delivery system... 

  • State Medicaid and Child Welfare Data Linkages for Outcomes Research, 2019 - 2021

    This project is a partnership between the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). It is funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Trust Fund. A contract to support this work will be awarded in September 2019.

    HHS will work with two to four states to...