With an increased focus on data skills and capabilities in the APS, the APS Data Skills & Capabilities for Non Data Specialists one day workshop aims to enhance the understanding of and the ability to interpret quantitative evidence used in economic reports. The emphasis is on assessing whether the evidence is sufficient, its quality, and how it can be inferred for decision-making.
One of the key policy questions we focus on is whether or not a particular policy or program improves individual lives. This is a fundamental question that has relevance across many policy domains, including social policy, economic policy, health, education, development assistance and many more. Such causal questions are surprisingly difficult to answer. We look at the data collection process, challenges in using socioeconomic data, and what data exploratory analysis tells us. We distinguish correlation and causality and then focus on the main problem of causality in policy analysis – how to deal with selection bias. We introduce some main techniques used to quantify the causal effects of policy interventions, with a focus on their uses and limitations. The course is highly applied with examples drawn from a wide range of policy domains.
What will you take away from attending this workshop?
- Improved ability to assess the quality of data in economic reports (based on activities in session 1)
- Improved understanding of basic statistics and their inference in economic reports (based on activities in sessions 2 and 3)
- Improved understanding of major contemporary approaches to the measurement of the impact of government policies (based on activities in all sessions)
- Improved understanding of empirical research on policy evaluation and the validity of causal claims in quantitative research (based on activities in all sessions)
APS employees working in non data specialist roles with an interest in developing or refining their data skills and capabilities. This course is well suited to those with roles and responsibility for:
- Senior Management
Attend to learn:
- Demystify the complexity around data concepts & methods
- Assess how evidence can be inferred for decision making
- Understand what you can derive from exploratory data analysis
- Unpack the different data collection processes & how to ensure your process is fit for purpose
- Learn how to manage & avoid selection bias
- Improve your ability to interpret quantitative evidence
- Apply your learning - connect theory with practical examples & case studies
Australian National University
Hoa Nguyen is a Senior Lecturer at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University (ANU). As a passionate teacher, she has taught master-level courses including Econometric Techniques, Mathematical Methods in Applied Economics and Microeconomic Analysis and Policy at the ANU.
As a researcher, Dr Nguyen is interested in analysing economic policies in health and food security, and issues related to climate change, inequality and poverty. Her research has been published in the world’s leading international journals, including Political Analysis, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Land Economics, Ecological Economics, Economic Modelling and World Development. Before joining the Crawford School, Dr Nguyen was a researcher at the Centre for Analysis and Forecasting, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.
What People Are Saying
“Data skills and capability are as critically important for the Australian Public Service (APS) as anywhere else. Data literacy across the APS will have a critical role in supporting evidencebased decision making, developing more efficient government policy and delivering services that meet the needs of people across Australia.”Data Skills and Capability in the Australian Public Service Report
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