Dear Glyn 

 WELSH INDEX OF MULTIPLE DEPRIVATION 2019 STATISTICS  

 I am writing to you following our review of the Welsh Government’s Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 (WIMD) statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics. The statistics were reviewed against the three pillars of the Code: trustworthiness, quality and value.  

WIMD statistics are an important tool for identifying the most disadvantaged areas and for supporting decisions about addressing local needs. They are widely used by central and local government and community organisations to target their services. The statistics have been considered as part of a wider review of the indices of deprivation statistics in Great Britain, alongside our compliance checks of the statistics produced by the Scottish Government and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).  

I am pleased to confirm that these statistics should continue to be designated as National Statistics. We found several positive examples in the way that Welsh Government produces and presents these statistics: 

  • The team has a clear understanding of¬†the uses and¬†users¬†of the statistics. Welsh¬†Government¬†ran a¬†user consultation¬†and¬†timing survey¬†ahead of WIMD 2019 and¬†published¬†its planned developments in response, which generates trust in the statistics.¬†The frequency of WIMD is¬†tailored to user need¬†‚Ästthe team told us that¬†it can be a burden on local authorities¬†and third sector organisations¬†who use WIMD¬†in their own¬†analyses¬†if WIMD is updated too regularly. Any¬†methodological¬†changes to¬†the construction of¬†WIMD between iterations are informed by¬†an¬†advisory group and other domain experts¬†which the team said it had good relationships with.¬†This further enhances the trustworthiness of the statistics.¬†
  • The¬†statistical bulletin¬†is engaging, clear and easy to follow. The pen pictures of areas in Wales¬†are¬†useful¬†in drawing out insight from the statistics¬†and help draw out the relevance to users. The¬†technical report¬†is comprehensive¬†and sets out the process for constructing the WIMD in a clear and accessible way. The¬†guidance document¬†has been tailored to lesstechnical users and effectively summarises the key information from the technical report.¬†¬†
  • The bulletin contains analysis of deeprooted deprivation¬†which¬†looks at areas that have remained in the top 50 most deprived for all WIMD iterations in the past 15 years.¬†The team told us that it¬†took inspiration from¬†the¬†Scottish¬†Government¬†to adopt this concept.¬†The analysis of deep-rooted deprivation¬†draws out valuable insight¬†from the statistics¬†and addresses the limitation of not being able to compare¬†small areas¬†and ranks between iterations of WIMD.¬†
  • The team spoke highly of its relationship with the¬†other¬†nations. The ‚Äėfour nations group‚Äô meets regularly and works collaboratively to make guidance and presentation across the¬†deprivation statistics more consistent.¬†Welsh Government has been working with¬†MHCLG, which¬†extended¬†its¬†coverage for income and¬†employment¬†data to¬†cover Wales¬†in 2019, to develop¬†new comparable analysis for these two domains.¬†¬†

We have identified one area where we consider that improvements could further enhance the public value of the statistics:  

  • The ability to combine and compare indices of deprivation across the devolved nations continues to be an area of interest for some users. Each of the producers we spoke to said they deal with queries relating to this on a regular basis, despite their joint effort to set out in the statistical releases how the statistics can and can‚Äôt be used. Welsh Government, as part of the ‚Äėfour nations group‚Äô, should look to ensure that appropriate resource is devoted to developing¬†updated¬†UK-wide¬†guidance and insight.¬†

Our Labour Market and Welfare team will continue to engage with you and your team in the coming months to follow up on the area that has been highlighted for improvement. We would like to thank the team for its engagement and cooperation throughout the review process.  

I am copying this letter to the responsible team: Nia Jones, Sue Leake and Samantha Collins.    

Yours sincerely 

 

Mark Pont 

Assessment Programme Lead  

 

Related Links

Mark Pont to Siobhan Carey: Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure

Mark Pont to Sandra Tudor: English Indices of Deprivation 2019 statistics

Mark Pont to Roger Halliday: Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020 statistics