Over this summer, the Centre team has been participating on a range of new and exciting activities and outputs. Here is a summary of the key activities we have undertaken in the last four months and what we are hoping to do next.
Data Ethics Services
We continue supporting researchers with the use of the data ethics self-assessment tool. We have received and reviewed over 420 applications this year, averaging 51 a month since our last newsletter. Researchers receive our feedback in accordance with the UKSA’s six ethical principles within two days on average.
The National Statisticians Data Ethics Advisory Committee (NSDEC) last met in July. In the meeting they discussed the international data ethics work that CADE has undertaken, the considerations between lawful and ethical consent and a number of other interesting topics. NSDEC Minutes and Agenda – July 2023 are available.
In collaboration with Statistics Canada, we have led an UNECE in-depth review (PDF, 360KB) on exploring the state of the development of data ethics in National Statistical Organisations (NSOs). The review was informed by a survey on ethics practices in NSOs. We presented the review to the Conference of European Statisticians (CES) Bureau meeting in October 2022 and the Bureau accepted the recommendations made in the paper. One of these recommendations involved organising a CES seminar on data ethics in June 2023 with National Statisticians from across the CES. We worked with the UNECE secretariat to organise this event and presented our work at the event.
In October, we delivered a presentation on future plans for the development of international data ethics standards to the Bureau of the Conference of European Statisticians in Cardiff. Our participation in forums like the CES ensures that the UK is joined up with statistical counterparts across the globe, producing internationally comparable data and contributing to international guidance and standards.
In September, we presented at Data Connect23 on Effectively communicating ethical consideration in research design. This was met with good engagement from across government with around 100 delegates attending our session. We have also recently supported the new intake of Post-Graduate Researchers at Swansea University with training on how to effectively consider ethics in research design.
We also presented a poster at the Research Ethics Conference (REC) at the University of Bath in July. The poster focused on “The CADE’s Impact and Engagement in the Data Ethics Space: What we do”. The poster showcased our ethics self-assessment tool and the eight guidance pieces the CADE has written. We keep working on a new version of the self-assessment, due for release in the new year. Therefore, we have been busy refining what this tool does, for whom and how.
What’s coming next
Since the establishment of the Centre for Applied Data Ethics (CADE) back in 2021, we have presented our data ethics work to a range of audiences, and we will continue with this work. In the coming months we will be presenting at conferences and training sessions across the UK and internationally to provide guidance, training and to promote the tools and guidance the centre offers. In November, CADE will be presenting at the ADR UK Conference 2023 in Birmingham which this year is focusing on resilience and inclusion in public data. Here we will be showcasing lessons learnt from three years of the CADE and how analysts can effectively consider the ethics of research and statistics at pace.
New ethics guidance is coming soon on three separate topics, including the ethical considerations in the secondary uses of children’s data. If you would like to see practical user guidance on a particular ethics-related topic, then please let us know by filling the Suggest a Guidance Topic form.
We will also soon be releasing some new ethics training to support analytical staff in considering the UKSA’s ethical framework in their statistics and research projects.
Remember, please do get in touch at Data.Ethics@statistics.gov.uk if you are interested in collaborating with us.
We will be publishing more news and updates from the centre at the beginning of next year.