Data linkage for better public policy

Visit the IPDLN YouTube channel for videos of keynote speakers, PechaKucha presentation and participant interviews.

Conference Participants

Close to 400 delegates from around the world came together for the 2014 IHDL Conference. Below is a map of countries from where participants joined us:



Participants included:

  • People who work in the area of human health, well-being and development that use linked data, including:
    • Researchers and analysts at Universities, the private sector, non-profits and community-based organizations
    • Public policy makers
  • Those who enable use of linked data, including:
    • Technical experts regarding data linkage / merging
    • Privacy experts
    • Experts on governance of electronic research resources
  • Users of the results of linked data analyses, including:
    • Leaders of organizations interested in social policy, health and human development
    • Leaders in industry that contribute products and /or knowledge to these areas
  • Students aspiring to work with linked data


Conference Overview

We live in an age of data with electronic collections of information about every sort of human activity, from Google searches and Amazon purchases to detailed administrative data from health care use or educational attainment. The public expects that these data are mined for useful, targeted information. Commercial applications are well embedded in practice; public and population health policy uses less so.

We are also in a time of rapid change – in technology, jobs, government spending, demographics and many other aspects of society. There are opportunities for the power of population based administrative data to be realized to support and guide smart policy change – to achieve societal objectives such as increasing high school graduation rates, saving millions in primary care, reducing worker injuries, or reducing adverse drug reactions.

This conference highlighted what is happening in the world of linked population-based data as it applies to public policy regarding the health of populations. What are the new and exciting data sources? What fields are furthest ahead in capitalizing on data to produce evidence for public policy? What evidence are they producing? What can we learn from use of big data in the private sector? Where will we be 10 years from now?