Unlocking administrative data

Maximizing the Impact of the Social Sector


Most stakeholders in the social sector understand the importance of evidence-based decisions for policy and programming. However, available evidence can be incomplete, inconsistent, and distorted, which means that measuring social impact is a persistent challenge. Governments and organizations regularly collect information, known as administrative data. Government administrative data is often inaccessible to the social sector. Rather than
duplicating data collection efforts — nonprofit organizations, funders and even different government departments could regularly access existing administrative datasets to measure the outcomes of interventions. This would unlock the potential of existing data and enable a more informed and strategic social sector.

This report is part of the Transform the Sector 2017 Series and provides an overview of how the social sector can access and use administrative data. It also provides additional context and background on this topic.