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Case Study: National Disability Data Asset (NDDA)

The NDDA has been identified as a pilot for significant national and state assets and is being actively managed using secure infrastructure and strong data governance.

The NDDA is bringing together more data from across different governments, relating to people with disability than has been previously shared. It will provide a more complete picture of what it means to live with disability in Australia, to enable improved outcomes for people with disability. Developing an unprecedented deidentified person-centred and system-wide approach to understanding disability in Australia will facilitate better, more inclusive services and improved life outcomes, without identifying individuals or being used for compliance purposes. If established as an enduring asset, it would be Australia’s most comprehensive human services data asset.

The NDDA is currently in a pilot phase. NSW is playing a key role by hosting the national project team that supports all governments across Australia to deliver this pilot, as well as contributing significant data and analysis. The pilot involves delivering five cross jurisdictional test cases to use a “try, test and learn” approach to designing all elements of the enduring asset, including legislative mechanisms that enable data sharing and use, governance, operational, technical and shared definitions to be able to identify cohorts within data sets. Platforms are also being developed for safe access to the data asset by a range of users, including decision makers, researchers, service providers and people with disability.

In this pilot phase, data has been successfully linked from six government agencies across NSW and the Commonwealth, and from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This process is being used to identify where policies and processes could be updated and streamlined, and multiple organisations are working collaboratively to workshop these changes. This includes using the lessons of developing the NDDA to test and review changes to Commonwealth data sharing legislation and the NSW Data Sharing Act. In harmonising processes, governance frameworks are being developed through community-informed processes that will build trust and provide transparency in the sharing mechanisms.

A NSW-led test case is developing and testing methodology in collaboration with National Partners to establish enduring linkage maps to enable rapid scalable linkages between NSW and the Commonwealth. Furthermore, this methodology reduces the requirement for transferring personal information, making this process intrinsically safer.

The NDDA will pave the way for improving how characteristics of cohorts are captured in datasets, including feeding back information to improve agency data collections. This is particularly key in identifying people with disability more accurately, but similar processes could improve confidence in other markers across datasets, such as language spoken at home or gender. 



Last updated 07 Jun 2021