Health and social services policy covers complex topics and involves difficult decisions that must balance the interests of several constituencies. Analysts with the Office of Data Analytics (ODA) provide oversight and strategic direction and are responsible for coordinating data analysis initiatives for the various departments that regulate health care and social services to ensure policy is consistent with long-term goals across the commonwealth. Researchers at ODA work on projects to promote the creation of new knowledge to inform Kentucky policymakers as they make these decisions.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has a broad programmatic portfolio and requires insights from a wide range of disciplines and academic fields to carry out its work effectively. From child welfare and foster care to Medicaid services, behavioral health and care for the aging, the cabinet must rely on an expansive knowledge base.
Using information collected from scientific literature and the daily operations of state government programs, these researchers produce materials for government officials to help them better understand where problems are emerging in the state, which programs are effective and which strategies have been successful in other parts of the country. These materials can take any form necessary, often involving research briefs, short reports, presentations and articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. The research activities at ODA seek to simultaneously support external university-based research activities while bolstering the cabinet’s internal capacity to deliver actionable intelligence to those who need it.