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Improving services for citizens with one version of the truth

The Welsh Government works to provide citizen-focused benefits across a wide variety of areas such as the environment; education and health. Decisions are made on these matters for Wales as a whole – with the devolved Government developing country-centric policies, laws, and assembly bills.

The Welsh Government works to provide citizen-focused benefits across a wide variety of areas such as the environment; education and health. Decisions are made on these matters for Wales as a whole – with the devolved Government developing country-centric policies, laws, and assembly bills.

Focusing on research and statistics to help support that governance, the aim of the government’s in-house Geography and Technology team is to be the central point of advice for geospatial data, analytics, imagery, and information.

The team demonstrates great thought leadership in the use and consumption of geospatial information, predominately through the promotion and use of systems and services such as LLE (Welsh for ‘place), the Welsh Government’s geospatial portal.

Wherever possible, the Welsh Government’s Geography and Technology team puts the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) at the heart of their work, improving citizens’ quality of life.

By using the verified and authoritative data in AddressBase, and deploying the UPRN in its statistical analysis the Geography and Technology team is able to provide a confident foundation for services being used in policy development right across the public sector in Wales.

The Welsh Government’s Geography and Technology team uses the Lle Geo-Portal, a resource developed in partnership between Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales, to develop statistical analysis that can help support policy-making in country.

Designed to share data across the wider public sector, Lle (meaning ‘place’ in the Welsh language), is a hub for data and information related to Wales and the environment. The hub itself is due for a relaunch in 2019, but is currently playing a vital role in offering the data needed for valuable studies, such as the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivations (WIMD).

WIMD comprises eight domains of study and relevance. In order (from low to high), the weighting given to those domains are the quality of housing; people’s relationships with the physical environment; community safety; access to services; education; health; employment; and income.

WIMD is used as the official measure of area deprivation in country. As a broad social and economic study, it is published once every five years to help crystallise progress and shape the nation’s future policy. With an incredibly broad range of criteria – everything from how much people are earning, proximity to libraries or health centres or schools to whether or not they feel they’re getting the benefit of access to greenery on a commute to work – each domain’s output can throw a different light on the perceived quality of life for citizens in Wales.

On the one hand, some measures – such as the quality of housing – show great deprivation on the fringes of urban communities. On the other, some measures such as access to services give a graphic juxtaposition that must be taken into account when considering quality of life in the round: it is harder to access services (such as food, medicine, healthcare) in rural areas.

With a population of 3.1million in Wales, this diversity in outlook provides challenges for the teams using this data. Consistency and confidence in results is vital. To secure this, the datasets for WIMD work are sourced from authoritative providers, adhering to clear specifications.

By tagging assets with the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), the WIMD’s data libraries provide ‘one version of truth’.

In Wales, the UPRN provides the 1.3 million reference points needed to model complex behaviours, activities, and movements.

For example: This map shows the three central post offices in Milford Haven. The Geography and Technology runs programmes to compute tens of thousands of isochrones (measures of the distance it’s possible to travel from each point with a specific time): these are 5, 10 and 15 minute isochrones.

Each polygon shows the distance a citizen could travel from each post office by walking, bus, coach or train. Adding the UPRNs on top, it is easy to see how this relates to citizens’ homes – and therefore the availability and accessibility of postal services, and where improvements might be necessary.

“The more aligned our datasets are, to AddressBase and to the UPRN, the greater their usability will be and the greater the benefit to citizens. It’s about better decision-making, with better data.”

- Matt Ricketts GI Analyst, Geography and Technology, Welsh Government

One Version Of The Truth Improving Services For Citizens Welsh Government - 544.26 KB

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