4529.0.00.003 - Foundation for a National Data Collection and Reporting Framework for family, domestic and sexual violence, 2014  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/2014  First Issue
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THE FOUNDATION FOR A NATIONAL DATA COLLECTION AND REPORTING FRAMEWORK

The DCRF is a broad level conceptual map that provides a systematic way of organising data about experiences of family, domestic and sexual violence into information units for statistical collection. It also provides the specifications and standards for the key data items. When implemented, collection of these data items can allow for consistent monitoring and reporting of family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia by organisations and governments.


WHY USE A FRAMEWORK?

Organisations share many common information practices and needs. For instance, on any given day organisations may need to know:

information about the client (for example, their age and sex, family situation, languages spoken, where they live and with whom, disability and health status);
details about the experience/event (what occurred, when and where);
the type of service/s provided and the result of those services or programs; and
how many clients they have and at what times of the day or year are they most busy.

Some of this information may already be collected during the organisation’s administrative processes. By using the DCRF to collect client and service details, organisations can create consistent and comparable data to better understand client characteristics, needs and the service demand. This information can also contribute to local, jurisdictional and national reporting requirements.


THE FOUNDATION FOR A DATA COLLECTION AND REPORTING FRAMEWORK (DCRF)

The DCRF consists of two separate components: data collection and reporting. Both of these are linked to a person’s experience of violence, as is illustrated in Diagram 3. The DCRF focuses on improving the quality and consistency of the inputs (data collection) in an effort to lay the basis for answering research and policy questions (reporting).

The day to day operations of organisations produces information that has the potential to support both components of the DCRF. Specifically, information about family, domestic and sexual violence is recorded in administrative systems when a person comes into contact with an organisation. This is referred to as the process of data collection.

This publication focuses on the data collection component of the DCRF as this is considered the building block of consistent reporting. Data collection captures information about a person’s experience of violence through the use of three information units (‘person’, ‘event’ and ‘transaction’) as highlighted in Diagram 3.

The ‘person’ unit captures information about the individual (such as ‘Age’, ‘Sex’ and ‘Relationship Status’). Information about the experience of violence (such as ‘Location of Event’ and ‘Type/s of Violence’) is included in the ‘event’ unit. When a person seeks help (in the form of contacting an organisation) it is included in the ‘transaction’ unit. This unit can be further separated into data items about the service sought (organisational information) and the outcome/s of this interaction.

Typically, information about a transaction is recorded throughout the duration of a person’s contact with an organisation and concludes when an outcome has been reached or the service provision is terminated.

The reporting component of the DCRF is dependent on the quality of the data items outlined in the Framework. By collecting information about the three information units it may be possible to combine the data items to answer key research questions identified in Defining the data challenge. This also includes the production of a variety of measures that monitor and report on service delivery activities.
COLLECTION OF 'PERSON' DATA ITEMS

Data items collected about a person (the individual seeking a service) are part of the administrative work undertaken by organisations at the commencement of contact with an individual. This information can be collected via self-enumeration or through direct questioning in a paper based or electronic format. It is recommended that the same questions and response options are asked in the same format to better ensure consistency in recording and optimise data quality.

The uses of these ‘person’ data items include: understanding the client base; assessing higher risk groups; monitoring whether services are operating efficiently and client needs are being met. Other uses for this information include developing business cases to access additional resources or funding for better service delivery (for more information, see Person Information Unit - Key Data Items).


COLLECTION OF 'EVENT' DATA ITEMS

Information about how violence is experienced by a person is best understood by collecting data items about the event (for more information, see Event Information Unit - Key Data Items). This includes the type/s of violence experienced, date, location and the relationship/s in which violence occurs. This information can be collected via self-enumeration or through direct questioning in a paper based or electronic administrate format. It is recommended that the same questions and response options are asked in the same format to better ensure consistency in recording and optimise data quality.

Standardising data collection about an event assists organisations in understanding people’s experience of family, domestic and sexual violence and assists with early identification of those at risk. This in turn, may identify where improvements, developments and prevention programs are required. It also provides the opportunity to generate data that ensures support services are responding to client need and improving outcomes for individuals who experience family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia.

There are many organisations that may come into contact or respond to family, domestic and sexual violence events. Information about an event can be collected within administrative processes at a number of different time points. Where and when this processing/recording occurs will have an impact on the quantity and quality of the data collected. For example, for police and emergency departments, information is collected at or close to the time of the event. However, this may not be the case for all organisations. Details of the event may also be obtained from a person retrospectively, during service delivery.


COLLECTION OF 'TRANSACTION' DATA ITEMS

Understanding how often particular organisations are frequented, by whom and how effective these are, is possible from analysis of administrative data. Information about an organisation’s service delivery is valuable as it can provide evidence regarding where services are unable to meet existing need and where additional resources are required.

The standardisation of data collection practices by an organisation equips them with statistical data from which to measure performance. Transaction data forms part of the evidence base about service use and demand in the field of family, domestic and sexual violence.

Differing from the previous two information units, the nature of the information collected about a transaction is not obtained directly from the person accessing a service. Rather it is information about the organisation (such as ‘Organisation Address’) and data which may be recorded as part of their day to day administrative operations, including information about the output/s from service provision (for more information, see Transaction Information Unit - Key Data Items).

The type of organisation providing a service determines the data items collected. Some of the data items will be derived. For example, the type of organisation may not be recorded as a data item; instead it may be implied by who is undertaking the collection activities. Similarly the type of person who is seeking assistance may be implied in the type of service accessed (victim support, perpetrator counselling, child protection etc.)

Recording of outcomes is also dependant on the definitions, processes and practices of the organisation/s responsible for data collection and compilation.
Diagram 3: The Foundation for a National Data Collection and Reporting Framework
Diagram 3: The Foundation for a National Data Collection and Reporting Framework


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