Allegheny Family Screening Tool in Netflix documentary

February 27, 2020

A new Netflix documentary series that raises big questions about whether the US child protection system is fit for purpose explores the potential of predictive risk modelling and tells the story of the Allegheny Family Screening Tool, built and implemented by a team led by CSDA Director Rhema Vaithianathan.

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“Unassailable research methods” required to influence child maltreatment policy

February 20, 2020

“To change policy, we need to leverage unassailable research methods,” Professor Jennie Noll told the audience at a recent research seminar hosted by CSDA and AUT’s Policy Observatory.

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CSDA collaboration with Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland

January 10, 2020

The Centre for Social Data Analytics has entered into a collaboration with the University of Queensland's Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) that will see the two research centres work together to establish a social data analytics capability at the University of Queensland.

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CSDA researchers share Allegheny Homelessness Tool at D4GX, New York

September 23, 2019

CSDA Director Professor Rhema Vaithianathan and CSDA research fellow Chamari Kithulgoda attended  the Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange (D4GX) in New York in September and presented a poster – “Implementing a Predictive Risk Model to Prioritize Homeless Services:  The Allegheny Homelessness Tool”.

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Data analytics in the public sector: 2019 John Western Lecture, Brisbane

September 19, 2019

Professor Rhema  Vaithianathan delivered a public lecture - Data analytics in the public sector – the tortoise or the hare? – in Brisbane in September.

Her talk was the 2019 John Western Lecture, a biennial event proudly hosted by the University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and School of Social Science.

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Prof Tim Maloney steps down from CSDA

July 29, 2019

Professor Tim Maloney stepped down as co-director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics (CSDA) in July.

The change coincided with his appointment as Head of the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at AUT and the move of CSDA to sit within the School, which also hosts The Policy Observatory and The Helen Clark Foundation.

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New research:  ethnic disparities in child protection (NZ)

July 19, 2019

A study co-authored by Professor Rhema Vaithianathan and published in the highly-regarded American Journal of Public Health follows the child protection interactions of almost 60,000 children from birth until the age of 18. The study is New Zealand’s first cumulative count of child protection encounters by ethnicity.

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CSDA work generates strong interest, engagement at US Events

July 5, 2019

When CSDA Director Rhema Vaithianathan presented the Centre’s predictive analytics for child welfare work to four very different US audiences in June, she found strong interest in the work, and made useful connections with frontline organisations, funders and policy makers.

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Government funding to extend childhood adversities research

May 17, 2019

A grant from the 2018/2019 round of the Government’s Children and Families Research Fund means CSDA can build on its research into the link between childhood adversities and school readiness.

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Allegheny Family Screening Tool evaluation:  Improved decision accuracy, reduced disparities

May 3, 2019

Researchers from Stanford University (US) have evaluated the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST), a child welfare predictive risk modelling tool developed by a research team led by Rhema Vaithianathan, and implemented by Allegheny County (US) in 2016.

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Family-based factors that protect children against adversities

April 30, 2019

New research from CSDA has identified family-based factors that are protective for children at risk of experiencing childhood adversities (specific experiences associated with poor outcomes later in life.)

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Physical spaces and mood – a MyDay pilot study

April 29, 2019

Researchers at the Centre for Social Data Analytics (AUT) have partnered with an Australasian architectural practice to explore the feasibility of combining a survey on workplace wellbeing with location data, to understand the impact of physical spaces on wellbeing at work.

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Meet the Team:  CSDA Research Fellow Katerina Taškova

April 28, 2019

CSDA Research fellow and data scientist Katerina Taskova is most interested in doing research that directly affects reality.

At CSDA Katerina has been taking a lead role on child welfare data research projects based in Allegheny County (PA, United States) and Chile.

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Development economist Sarah Baird visits CSDA

March 11, 2019

CSDA hosted development economist Sarah Baird from George Washington University (Washington DC) in February. Sarah’s research focuses on the microeconomics of health and education in developing countries, with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Algorithms in the Public Sector Conference

January 15, 2019

A December conference co-presented by CSDA offered a range of perspectives on the use of algorithms in the public sector, including keynotes from international experts who have commissioned, developed and assessed the ethics of, public sector algorithms.

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Meet the AUT Students Working at CSDA

November 15, 2018

A new appreciation for the role of data analytics in improving people’s lives has been a revelation for one of CSDA’s recent recruits.

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“Decision Making: Human vs Machine” (free public lecture)

November 7, 2018

This December, Stats NZ and CSDA are presenting a free lecture hosted by international tech ethics expert Lorena Jaume-Palasi. With a background in founding ethics organisations including  AlgorithmWatch and the Ethical Tech Society, and consulting to numerous governments and organisations in this space, Jaume-Palasi will present her experiences and recommendations.

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Talking Predictive Risk Modelling in Denver: Rhema Vaithianathan at the 2018 Alliance Conference

October 29, 2018

CSDA Co-Director Rhema Vaithianathan spoke about predictive-risk modelling in Denver earlier this week. Her presentation included an overview of her work and how predictive-risk modelling will aid Douglas County in making better decisions in the child welfare sector.

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CSDA takes a collaborative role in new US research centre

October 8, 2018

CSDA Co-Director Rhema Vaithianathan will be collaborating with the newly-established Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment Policy, Research and Training (CICM) at Washington University of St. Louis.

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Talking predictive analytics with Australian researchers, government

September 18, 2018

CSDA co-director Professor Rhema Vaithianathan had the opportunity to lead an Australian roundtable about the use of predictive analytics for positive impact in September.

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CSDA research in upcoming Child Wellbeing Research Seminar (Wellington)

August 29, 2018

Matt Walsh, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Data Analytics (CSDA), will share new research on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) at a Child Wellbeing Research Seminar hosted by the Ministry of Social Development in Wellington on 11 September.

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Seeking feedback on the NZ Guidelines for Trusted Data Use

August 20, 2018

A year after the launch of the draft NZ Guidelines for Trusted Data Use:  ‘A Path to Social Licence’, the authors have begun to explore how useful the Guidelines are for organisations, and what updates may be needed.

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Helping Government to develop Algorithm Guidelines

August 14, 2018

The Government Chief Data Steward, Liz McPherson, has commissioned Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, co-director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics at AUT, to review international guidelines for the government use of algorithms, and help develop a ‘best practice’ approach for New Zealand.

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Meet the Team: CSDA's Research Fellow Oleksandr Fialko

August 13, 2018

A background in physics is an essential tool for Oleksandr Fialko who joined CSDA last year as a Research Fellow in Data Science and is working to improve the accuracy of models being used to predict child welfare outcomes.

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Researchers ask 2000 trainee doctors what it’s like to walk in their shoes

July 23, 2018

Researchers working with Health Education England (HEE) in the Wessex region have launched a study that aims to understand how doctors in training in the area experience their working lives.

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"Bias Detectives: the researchers striving to make algorithms fair"  -CSDA’s work in Nature news

July 3, 2018

In late June, an in-depth article and podcast about the CSDA’s work on the Allegheny Family Screening Tool were featured on the Nature news website.

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CSDA shares child welfare predictive risk modelling work in Chile

June 6, 2018

Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, co-director of the Center for Social Data Analytics, recently gave a keynote address on child welfare predictive risk models at the Adolfo Ibáñez University (UAI) in Santiago, Chile.

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International project explores social impact of algorithms

May 17, 2018

A project led by CSDA’s Co-Director Rhema Vaithianathan, is exploring community perspectives on the use of algorithms by government in New Zealand and the United States.

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Surprising findings about interventions helping sick workers

April 17, 2018

A forthcoming paper in Labour Economics finds that, overall, providing sick workers with more intensive interventions worsened their labour market outcomes.

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Social Workers in Schools evaluations:  A use case for IDI but we can do more

April 5, 2018

A study co-authored by CSDA researchers has identified positive effects for some student groups from the government-funded Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) programme.  The paper is the first of two studies recently published by the Ministry of Social Development.

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CSDA eNews - April 2018

April 5, 2018

CSDA’s research and analytics tools are used by local and international agencies to support smart policy and sound decision-making in areas including health and social welfare. This issue: CSDA risk modelling in The New York Times, funding award to study community perspectives on government use of algorithms, CSDA papers in Children And Youth Services Review, Pediatrics and American Journal of Public Health and meet CSDA Senior Research Fellow Matt Walsh.

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Full house for Wellington workshop on child poverty, risk and resilience

March 3, 2018

There was a great turnout at CSDA’s recent Wellington workshop, attended by individuals from thirteen government agencies and several private sector organisations.

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Analysis of screening tool wins best paper award at international fairness conference

February 15, 2018

A paper that analyses the application of risk modelling to child maltreatment screening decisions will receive a best paper award at the 2018 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) in New York in late February.

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"Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids are in Danger?" - our research in the NYT

January 12, 2018

An in depth feature about a CSDA research project, the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST), ran in the New York Times Magazine in January.

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