In today’s complex environment, with highly differentiated labour markets, radical public service reforms, growing diversity and wider inequality, good research based on major public investment in data resources, is helping to identify how these powerful forces are affecting individuals, households and communities. It is supporting new leading edge research, robust decision-making and bringing a fresh perspective to contemporary issues.
Devolution is enabling Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to have forms of significant self-government within the United Kingdom. With varied needs and policy choices across the UK’s four nations, large scale cross-national research resources such as Understanding Society, and its precursor the British Household Panel Study (BHPS), can enable researchers, policy makers and campaigners to compare and contrast differences in approaches and outcomes in tackling social, economic and health issues.
EVENT FORMAT AND WHO IS IT FOR?
(1) Introduction to Understanding Society (Wednesday 29 June 2016 - am)
The half-day session is highly accessible and will be of particular interest to participants from the Welsh Government, Office for National Statistics (ONS), key public agencies, civil society organisations and charities, think tanks, political practitioners, early-career researchers and students. Topic based roundtable sessions will enable participants with a common interest to discuss how the study can help examine questions on health, education, families and children, poverty/inequality and civil society and test research ideas.
Venue: Lecture Theatre L02, Cardiff Business School, University of Cardiff
(2) Managing and Preparing Understanding Society Data for Analysis (Wednesday 29 June (pm) and Thursday 30 June 2016)
The one and a half-day data training session is aimed at data users new to Understanding Society as well as those who have so far only made use of simpler aspects of the data. The training is a combination of lectures and computer lab sessions where participants will learn how to:
• Use the documentation to find out what data are available.
• Define the appropriate units of analysis for a research project, and establish the basis for selecting cases and waves of data to use.
• Create merged longitudinal files with data from multiple waves. Learn how to combine individual and household level information for analysis.
• Match information from separate household members to each other, so that household effects can be analysed. Select and use the appropriate weights and account for the complex survey design.
• Learn about the issues of using the extra five minutes of question asked of the ethnic minority boost sample and a comparison sub-sample.
• Identify and use the BHPS sample for analysis. This is particularly important for those who want to continue using the BHPS as a standalone longitudinal dataset. Learn the basics of linking external geographical level data with Understanding Society data.
It will be taught using Stata. Whilst those without any knowledge of Stata can attend, participants with basic working knowledge of the software are expected to benefit more.
Venue: Room R23 I.T Lab, Cardiff Business School, University of Cardiff.
(3) Study of civil society in Wales and the UK more broadly (Nov. 2016 - date tbc)
This one-day session is aimed at anybody with an interest in learning more about civil society and how it has evolved over recent decades. Civil society issues such as social trust, associational membership, volunteering, etc. will be explored. It is aimed at members of civil society organisations, government officials and those with an interest in learning about how to use survey data. The course will consider various aspects of civil society, engagement and participation and its relationship with other social, economic or political characteristics.
The course will provide everything needed for a survey user to begin exploring and using the Understanding Society/BHPS in their research or policy, including an introduction to the data collected and how this is done, a guide for how the data can be accessed, and training in which the basic steps associated with accessing, manipulating and analysing the data will be detailed and practiced using the software package SPSS. No prior knowledge of BHPS is expected and no prior experience of analysing or working with survey data is needed. A basic introduction to SPSS will be provided, and then several techniques of data management and manipulation and basic analysis will be demonstrated and practiced. The course will provide the basis for further training in the use of statistics software in the analysis of survey data.
Venue: University of Cardiff (details tbc)
All participants taking part in sessions (2) or (3) will significantly benefit from attending session (1). All early career researchers or PhD students should attend session (1).
BOOKING A PLACE, ACCOMMODATION AND EXPENSES
The events are free of charge. Session (1) is open to everyone as it is lecture based but places are limited for sessions (2) and (3) as they are based in a computer lab, and places will be offered on a first come first served basis.
Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their travel and accommodation in Cardiff if staying overnight. If places are full, participants will be placed on a waiting list. It is important that if you are unable to attend for any reason, we are informed by Friday 10 June so the place can be offered to someone else.
VENUE: Cardiff Business School, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, United Kingdom. A map of the venue location can be accessed here.
If you have any queries about the event please get in touch with Jay Hemker, Longitudinal Studies Project Assistant & Event Support:
Tel: 01206 874823