The Administrative Data Research Network was an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 to July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, which was launched at the end of 2018.

Visit the Administrative Data Research Partnership for further information. 

This archival website reflects the state of play at the end of the project in July 2018. All content has been frozen and may not be up to date.

open menu

World of Work: labour market experience

Scope and purpose

The World of Work Theme focuses on the labour market experience of those in, and out of, work.  The Theme Partners have identified the importance of a better understanding of the “gig economy” as a priority.  To that end, the Theme will explore the creation of an “indices of employment quality”, to be derived and used in the manner of the ‘Indices of Multiple Deprivation’.  This work will contribute to the work of the Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices.  The Partnership has also identified the need for information that has the qualities of Labour Force Survey outputs but with robustness in particular small areas of interest, such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships and Enterprise Zones, or the Northern Powerhouse cities.


The World of Work Partnership will agree objectives at each of its Partner meetings.  At the first meeting, is was proposed "To utilise small-area indices to map a new measure of employment quality, modelled on the functionality of the ‘Indices of Multiple Deprivation’, in particular to better understand the casualisation of  employment and the growth of the so-called 'gig economy'".  This objective is subject to agreement once its feasibility has been explored and reported to partners.

Such a dataset(s) would become a building block for future enhancement, with other administrative records of employment being added in accordance with the direction of the Theme Partners' understanding of research and policy evidence needs.

The process we follow from agreement of objective through to use 

There are two main approaches to the use of administrative data to enhance research and to fill evidence gaps for themes:

  1. we will seek to enhance existing longitudinal and cohort studies by assisting them in the acquisition of administrative data relating to the members of those studies, and
  2. we will create new study datasets, and curate them to provide a data resource that can form the foundation of new scientific research and respond to policy evidence inquiries.

Work currently underway

Initial scoping and partnership development.

Partnership Meetings

The first meeting was held on 21 September 2017 and was attended by representatives from invited Partner organisations. The agenda asked Partners for their views on the key social and economic issues faced by those engaged in The World of Work, what insights are needed to better understand those issues, and therefore what administrative data should be prepared and used to support the necessary scientific research and provide the information for the targeted insights.


The meeting was chaired by Dr David Halpern, Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and Board Director, Cabinet Office.

Theme leader

This theme is led by Professor Chris Dibben, Director of the Administrative Data Research Centre for Scotland (ADRC-S). Chris Dibben is also the Chair in Geography at the University of Edinburgh and part of the Geography and the Lived Environment research institute and the Director of the ESRC′s Administrative Data Liaison Service. His research interests include poverty, deprivation and inequalities; evaluating area-based initiatives; small area statistics; risk, vulnerability and hazards. He has worked on, among other subjects: epidemiological studies into recovery after heart attacks; the causes of low birth weight; the survival of drug misusers; the impact of air pollution.

Partner organisations

Centre for Cities, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Education, Department for Works and Pensions, Economic and Social Research Council, Health & Safety Executive, HM Revenue & Customs, Institute for Fiscal Studies, LSE, What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, Ministry of Justice, Office for National Statistics, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Turing Institute, UCL, University of Essex, What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

Correspondence sent out to Partners

Letter of invitation to join the Partnership

Follow-up letter for first Objective

Next meeting(s)

Thursday 1st March 2018, London

Page last updated: 27/07/2018