BIG DATA, OFFICIAL STATISTICS, AND PUBLIC POLICY
2015/2016, Semester 1
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
· Identify information sources and examine their adequacy in public policy making, monitoring and evaluation.
· Gain perspectives on the use of information in decision making in public policy.
· Obtain in-depth understanding of the latest discussion on ‘data revolution’ and ‘open data’ initiatives, the measurement limitations of structured and unstructured data, the multi-mode approach to information management, and the latest trends in data utilization.
· Provides students a sound basis to understand and assess various sources of data, including both structured and unstructured information, and to see how such information could be used in the context of public policy.
High quality empirical evidence is paramout to sound public policy formulation, monitoring, and evaluation. Official statistics, as trusted, organized information, have served this purpose for centuries; their production is institutionalized and governed by internationally-agreed ethics and practices. Unstructured information, including Big Data and Geoinformation, has emerged recently, offering public policy new empirical basis for making decisions. This has been described as ‘Data Revolution’ by international organizations. This course is designed for practitioners in the field of public policy to gain an in-depth understanding of the design and intricacies of structured statistical information (official statistics) and unstructured information such as Big Data and Geoinformation. The integration of these information sources will provide decision makers a significant competitive advantage in making sound empirically-based policy judgements.
13 August 2015: Shopping week
From Data to Policy: The Logic of Evidence-based Public Policy and Decision Making
Examine the use of information in public policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation and the rationale for the push for evidence-based decision making globally. Concepts such as ‘data revolution’ and ‘open data’ will be introduced. The changing paradigms of supply and demand of information will be examined.
20 August 2015
Official Statistics and Public Policy: Institutional Arrangements and global Support
Discuss the intricacies of how official statistics is organized nationally and globally and the implications of such arrangements.
27 August 2015
Measuring Economic Activities in a Globalized World
Examine the basis and adequacy of official statistics in measuring national economic activities within and across national borders.
3 September 2015
Measuring the household sector: Poverty, Income Inequality and Cost of Living
Scrutinize the measurement of household economic attributes and the related indicators which are often targets of public policy.
: 10 September 2014
Measuring Social and Demographic Change
How do we measure social and demographic changes will be discussed and their implications for public policy will be assessed.
17 September 2015
Measuring Global Development Goals: From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals
Discuss the measurement challenges of designing and evolving a global development agenda by the United Nations and implications for national policy formulation. The new Sustainable Development Goals will be adopted in September 2015 by world leaders in a special session of the General Assembly.
1 October 2015
Quality, Ethics and Errors in Official Statistics: Implications for Public Policy
Examine the performance of official statistics in various global economic crises and how official statistics deal with the issues of errors, quality and ethical standards.
8 October 2015
Data Revolution: Big Data and Public Policy
Discuss the emergence of unstructured data as a new source of information for public policy, including its contributions and limitations.
15 October 2015
Location Information Platform and Geoinformation for Public Policy
The integration of geoinformation with other empirical evidence for public policy is gaining pace for locality development through the adoption of location information platforms.
22 October 2015
Using Unstructured and Spatial Data for Policy Formulation
Discuss critically the use of Big Data and Geoinformation in the context of public policy with examples and applications, and the issues concerning confidentiality, privacy, and accuracy.
29 October 2015
Measuring the Unmeasurable: New Data Challenges for Public Policy
Empirical data are being demanded for new policy issues which are not easy to measure such as national well-being and sustainable development, and this poses a big challenge to the information providers.
5 November 2015
The Future of Information in Public Policy: Privacy vs Practicality considerations
Examine the impact of rapid information flow (including social media and real-time data) on the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of public policy and the issues of privacy and confidentiality.
12 November 2015
Review of Salient Issues:
This session reviews all salient issues that have been discussed in this course.
Participation in discussion: 20%
Class participation is expected and will be evaluated. It is important to prepare well for class, to raise pertinent issues, and to actively participate in class discussion.
Policy Brief: 30%
Students will be asked to review the proposed ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ and associated targets and indicators to be adopted by world leaders on 25
September 2015 at the United Nations as the world’s development agenda for the next 15 years. The assignment takes the form of a ‘policy paper’ for your government and should be not more than 20 pages. You are expected to provide a critical review of SDGs and offer your recommendations. You are asked to address the follow issues:
a) Should your country support the SDGs?
b) Which is the most important development goal? Do you agree with the targets and indicators?
c) Is SDG appropriate as the world’s development agenda?
d) How would you advise on the collection, use and dissemination of the SDG indicators?
Policy Paper: 50%
Select a topic of interest and develop a policy paper for your government. The paper could focus on a) the use of information in public policy making, b) the debate on open data, c) regulating the new information regime of the future, d) the future development of the statistical system. This is a think piece, and you have the opportunity to develop your ideas.
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week