Developing a hub for e-Social Science in NZ

Project Description

COMPASS has been awarded a three -year  grant from the Minister of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)  to develop a knowledge laboratory of the early life-course.

The research will  identify key determinants of child and adolescent outcomes, and will integrate estimates from systematic reviews and meta-analyses for these determinants into a working model of the early life-course (developed from an existing model we have created). We will use the working model as a "knowledge laboratory" to (i) test the validity of the underlying behavioural equations and specific knowledge sources (meta-analyses, systematic reviews), and (ii) test policy scenarios by carrying out experiments on the 'virtual cohort' created by the working model.

This research will involve the development of a micro-simulation model and associated computer software that allows users (policy makers, planners, analysts) to easily programme simulations and view the results. The end product will be an expert decision-support tool that will be available to the public policy community.

The research plan involves (i) identifying published systematic reviews and meta analyses relating to key outcomes for children and adolescents (to age 18); (ii) integrating estimates from these studies into, and thus enhancing, an existing micro-simulation model of the early life-course; (iii) validating the enhanced model, and thus published estimates, by comparing simulated results to published New Zealand benchmarks; and (iv) using the validated enhanced model to test the impact of various policies on key child and adolescent outcomes.

In using these best estimates to develop a micro-simulation model with which policy scenarios can be tested, our proposal will benefit NZ families/whānau by determining the policies that have the greatest impact on the lives of New Zealand children. Moreover, we will be uniquely placed to assess the impact of distinctive Māori programmes, such as Kohānga reo and Whānau Ora.

Project team

Professor Peter Davis

Dr Barry Milne

Mr Roy Lay-Yee

Jessica McLay

Martin von Randow

Kevin Chang