Administrative Data for Research and Improvement

Administrative data are widely recognized as an underutilized resource for building knowledge to inform social service policy and program design. It is also potentially a more cost-effective source of information for this purpose than gathering original data. In order to realize this potential, administrative data need to be accessible to researchers, of high quality, and more easily linked or integrated while protecting privacy and confidentiality. Administrative data can sometimes eliminate the need for gathering original data. In other cases, it can extend the utility of survey data through data linkages, and provide a complementary source of knowledge.

Resources have been produced by OPRE and a number of other federal partners. Pages for these sources, including links to relevant resources offered by each, are provided below:

Featured Resources

Projects on this Topic

The Child and Family Data Archive (CFData) is the place to discover, access, and analyze data on young children, their families and communities, and the programs that serve them. OPRE funds numerous data collection efforts through research studies on a wide range of early care and education (ECE) topics within and across child care, Head Start, and home visiting.

Project Overview

The purpose of this project is to develop recommendations and strategies that ACF can pursue to increase data accessibility...

This project builds on the earlier OPRE Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services (RED) project. RED helped build a base of knowledge to inform the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)’s identification and understanding of ethnic and racial differences across the service delivery system... 

Explore findings on families experiencing homelessness that cover a range of domains: behavioral health, well-being, self-sufficiency, family separations, foster care, employment, family transitions, TANF receipt, SNAP receipt, and more.