Defra celebrates statistics success

Department picks up coveted Royal Statistical Society award

The Defra team collects the 2018 Campion Award. From left to right: the Defra team (Jamie Jenkins, Jenny Kemp and Luke Ridley) with Iain Bell, ONS Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy and Dev Virdee, RSS fellow and Chair of the Award Organising Committee. Credit: RSS

By Jim Dunton

17 Jul 2018

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has collected a coveted national award for excellence in official statistics for a data-driven snapshot of the UK’s agriculture sector.

It garnered the 2018 Campion Award from the Royal Statistical Society earlier this month for a 68-page document, The future farming and environment evidence compendium, which is packed with data but also full of illustrations.

UK deputy national statistician Iain Bell said Defra’s winning entry had impressed the awards judging panel with its combination of an excellent use of administrative data with a direct impact on policy and its communication with users.


“They liked the user-testing and the way the product has been developed at two levels," he said.

Bell added that one panel member had complimented the winning entry as being both “enjoyable and educational to browse” at the same time as being “clearly related to policy needs”.

He also said the fact there had been nine shortlisted entries for the 2018 awards – for which Civil Service World is the media partner – was “testament to the high-quality work being produced by government statisticians”.

First runner up in the awards was the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency’s Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measures 2017, which judges said had excellently brought together complex data and presented it at local level in a politically-sensitive context.

They said the agency had “showed true innovation in the development of income indicators as well as a regard to good practice elsewhere” with a dataset that was useful for policy and which had been delivered within budget.

Second runner up in the awards was a joint publication from the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics titled Busting myths: application of new data sources and analyses.

The Campion Award is named in honour of former RSS president the late Sir Harry Campion, who in 1941 was the first director of what was then the UK Central Statistical Office.

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