13 February 2018

Turning people-centred spatial information into policy

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In October, the CRCSI together with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and the Australian Institute for Health & Welfare (AIHW) convened a Roundtable discussion to explore the challenges and actions outlined in a recently released paper, Location Matters – realising the value of people centred spatial information to inform policy. The Roundtable brought policy and spatial data experts together to determine how best spatial expertise can be accessed to meet the needs of policy development. Participants from the Roundtable worked together to modify and prioritise the actions highlighted in the report.

Duncan McIntyre, Assistant Secretary of the Data and Digital Branch at PM&C said, in his opening remarks: “When social policy data is integrated with authoritative spatial data, rich insights can be obtained for decision-making and policy development. Spatially enabled data and spatially enabled analytical platforms are critical for analysing data and visualising the findings.”

AIHW CEO, Barry Sandison who hosted the event, fully supports the actions and any initiatives that will encourage better use and optimisation of spatial data. The paper commissioned by the CRCSI and AIHW outlined key challenges and several recommendations to meet those challenges. All participants on the day, however, highlighted an additional key issue: people involved in providing data (spatial or otherwise) need to understand what is involved in developing policy to be able to provide information in a timely and concise manner.

Feedback from the Roundtable was incorporated into the final report and recommended actions are being considered in both the future research priorities of the CRCSI as well as for inclusion in the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda.


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