The Population Health and Wellbeing research theme undertakes large scale population studies, using statistical and epidemiological methods, to describe the impact of multiple factors on the lives of children and young people. Many of the research projects involve linkage of information on the same individuals from multiple sources. The use of linked data allows a contextual understanding of the complex interactions of the many influences on the development of children and young people, an understanding that breaks down the administrative “silos’ of health, education and community services. For many projects, results based on the “data” are supplemented by qualitative research that provides a community “voice” in the interpretation of information.

At the heart of many projects within the Population Health and Wellbeing stream is the CYDRP data repository which contains de-identified but linked information for all NT children and young people born from 1994 onwards. This repository currently contains information from 14 datasets, across health, education, child protection and youth justice sectors. The repository contains only de-identified information and is held on a secure server with restricted access. Arrangements are now being finalised to expand the repository to include 25 datasets, with the earliest data commencing for those born in 1986. The update of the repository will extend the research capability to allow analysis of life-course development to young adulthood, as well as assessment of the influence of characteristics of mothers and siblings on outcomes.

Separate to research that utilises the CYDRP data repository there is also capability for stand-alone linkage studies and for more general population and service-level research and evaluation.