Presentation on theme: "European Commission MPHASIS Mutual Progress on Homelessness through Advancing and Strengthening Information Systems THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME Matt Harrison."— Presentation transcript:
European Commission MPHASIS Mutual Progress on Homelessness through Advancing and Strengthening Information Systems THE RESEARCH PROGRAMME Matt Harrison Homeless Link Final Project Conference Paris 17 th September 2009
European Commission Action Oriented Research Five areas of research Transferability of Good Practice Service Provider Databases Client Record Systems Making Use of Administrative Data Institutional Population Data Population Register Data Usability of Core Variables Survey of all partner countries
European Commission Service Provider Databases The majority of homeless people use homelessness services There is a wide range of services provided by the state, municipalities, NGOs, faith groups and the private sector We developed a typology of services in the Measuring Homelessness project Our research then found that few countries have comprehensive databases of service providers We described a methodology for compiling and maintaining a directory or database of service providers We carried out research to test out our findings in Bulgaria, Italy and the Netherlands
European Commission Service Provider Databases Studies examining proposed methodology in Bulgaria, Italy and Netherlands Different levels of service provision, existing systems and national government policy Identified existing databases, stakeholders involved and next steps to be taken Support for proposed methodology for developing databases appropriate in different national contexts Staged approach and use of existing data Evidence of common data collected about services
European Commission Service Provider Databases New national database being developed in Italy and proposal for new Shelter Atlas for Netherlands Link with client data important Evidence to confirm costs and timescales involved Barriers and ways of overcoming them identified Gaining backing from government and key stakeholders and clear purpose crucial
European Commission Client Recording Systems Recent years have seen the widespread development of computerised client recording systems in homelessness services No country has a comprehensive common client information system – although some are in development One aim of the research was to test the applicability of one system (Link) in different national contexts. Pilot systems were developed for Hungary and Sweden
European Commission Client Recording Systems An alternative approach is to define methods for extracting data from multiple systems for national collation This approach is used in France and Germany We commissioned research to look at the French situation
European Commission Client Recording Systems Link software (already used in UK and Ireland) was translated into Hungarian and Swedish Local NGOs in Budapest and Stockholm identified to pilot the software with their clients Pilot system evaluated
European Commission Client Recording - Issues Data Protection Translation Technical issues Conflicting needs of operational data collection and statistical data collection Not all data known about users of low threshold services
European Commission Data Extract Modules: France Aim To examine issues involved in extracting data from existing software systems Three systems examined Regional Information System-Poitou Charentes, COHPHRA (both local level systems) and Research System 115 (national level) Method – documentary analysis of the software used interviews with the key personnel in each information system. Findings - Work in progress in France with aim of: Moving towards a computerised real time system of data collection Obligatory for all services for the homeless Development of a standard definition of variables
European Commission France An information system requires a formal piloting policy: Financial investment (by the public authorities) Mobilisation of actors and cooperation Definition of the needs of data collection – specification of the variables and data items standardisation of the nomenclatures used Definition of the theoretical and geographical perimeter of the services to be covered Agreement on an application of collection and its development
European Commission Organisational Issues Joint institutional policy working needed with a range of stakeholders Co-ordination by the State or regional government A degree of flexibility needed – various options Obligatory for those providing services to homeless Incentive measures needed Clear management by service provider organisations System that provides tool for providers and on-line benefits
European Commission Implementation Issues Involvement of field workers The degree of computerisation of services Training of Staff The confidentiality of data collected The reproduction of data uploads The use of data for purposes of management control? The impact of information systems on the practices of social interventionists
European Commission Use of Administrative Data Administrative data is data collected by the state and/or municipal authorities in the course of their work For some groups of homeless people this may be an important source of data – this is of particular relevance for homeless people in institutional settings. We commissioned research into the prison population in Norway and Poland and how homelessness is defined, identified and measured in people leaving prison in these countries
European Commission Administrative Data – Prison Population The purpose of the research was to examine the use made of administrative data on people released from prison who have no home to go to. The research aimed to identify the procedures used and good practice models of using such data. Undertaken in Poland and Norway which were considered to represent examples of good practice.
European Commission Poland 1,450 prisoners (from 90,000) leaving prison annually registered as requiring support due to homelessness This underestimates the scale of the real problem Current procedures are based on individual assessment of housing status by officials Supporting vulnerable prisoners to acquire housing on release is not a priority Being a person without a permanent address has implications Existing procedures screen housing status three times: Article 38 of the Executive Penal Code sets the ground for cooperation with NGOs
European Commission Poland - Conclusions The need to promote evidence-based planning and implementation of policies Transfer the paper registration systems into a fully computerized (NOE.Net) database A unified procedure for defining homelessness status before release – the same set of questions taken into account across the whole country Disconnecting data collection on housing from any consequences for receiving awards, passes and permissions during imprisonment
European Commission Norway The operational definition of a homeless person in Norway is a person without owned or rented accommodation and who is staying in one of five situations One of these is a person that is under Criminal Services due to be released within two months and is without a dwelling of his or her own More than 60% of inmates are homeless. Approximately 6,000 persons are released from prison to homelessness each year Three main administrative registration systems have been used for collecting data on homelessness
European Commission Norway - Issues Link of release on parole to housing status – satisfactory housing situation seems to be an almost mandatory rule for release Impact on reliability of data collection – inmates often give their address at time of imprisonment or give a false address Data Quality on housing status held in KOMPIS system not reliable. KOSTRA system for use of temporary accommodation after release from prison and discharge from institution. Data on housing after release from prison is not covered in Bokart
European Commission Norway - Conclusions National monitoring system on homelessness based on administrative data not yet implemented Registration of the housing status of convicts and persons on remand in KOMPIS not reliable or complete Questions on homelessness on release from prison, taken out of the KOSTRA system Due to lack of resources to quality control the figures The most reliable statistics on homelessness among prisoners remains the national survey of homeless persons The Criminal Services Department has been a respondent in all four national surveys of homelessness
European Commission Population Registers The 2011 Census aims to count the whole population, including homeless people Some countries have introduced population-registers to augment or replace the Census. We commissioned research in two countries (Slovenia and Germany) to test how homeless people are or could be identified and measured in their population registers.
European Commission 2011 Census – Register Based Systems 12 Countries to use registers or combination of register and survey Germany and Slovenia chosen as case studies recent decisions to use registers Census data mainly drawn from Central Population Register (CPR) Database of Households Register of Dwellings / Buildings Questions Are homeless counted in the register based system? Are some categories of homeless difficult to count?
European Commission Limits of Register Based System Germany No CPR – local authorities to provide information Register of Dwellings being established (7.5m owners) Register of Special Dwellings to be developed Linking registers + data protection = aggregate data Slovenia Registers Dwellings in establishment phase eDatabase of Households being computerised CPR – relationships among persons not complete
European Commission Germany - Issues Rough Sleepers / Emergency Accommodation Not registered at any registry office Register of Special Buildings Definition and identification issues Homeless accommodation diverse (budgets, providers) Fictitious addresses (welfare departments) Community, institutional and emergency accommodation Combined in a common group Homeless may be counted but can not be identified
European Commission Slovenia - Issues Register of Buildings “buildings for special purposes” - maternity homes, shelters and asylums, homes for the elderly, student dorms The Residence Registration Act (2006) registers homeless at agency where they receive help requires a complete register of services requires ability to identify homeless services Living with Family/friends will be excluded Buildings not intended for habitation CPR needs cross-reference to Register of Buildings
European Commission Core Variables In the Measuring Homelessness report we proposed a set of Core Variables about homeless people This was a restricted number of variables which should be collected across Europe using the same definitions This would provide the basis for information about the profile of homeless people in Europe. We carried out a survey of 20 countries to test the proposed core data set
European Commission Core variables Research carried out by Mphasis project and national partners Questionnaires sent to 20 countries 20 responses from 15 countries Each of the proposed core variables is used by a majority of the existing systems All systems collect data on age and sex of homeless people
European Commission Core variables Most systems collect information on Nationality, Country of birth and Household structures/living situations. Some modifications are suggested to align these variables with Eurostat recommendations for core social variables. The majority of systems collect information about previous accommodation, duration of homelessness and reasons for homelessness. Lower levels of standardisation of variables in these areas. Some changes to variables are proposed but each category should be maintained.