Data is our raw material.
Understanding reality requires at first place to have reliable and verified information at our disposal. To that purpose, it is important to carry out an effective data collection, so that diagnosis and evaluations are built on solid grounds. Effective data collection and the creation of specialized databases is thus essential for conducting rigorous and useful studies.
ISEAK offers professional advice on the collection of statistical data. We design the dataset structure that best fits the diagnosis or evaluation at hand. Moreover, we offer support throughout the whole data collection process to ensure that it is performed efficiently, adequately, and in a replicable way.
Among other data collection services, we design standardized and harmonized questionnaires to ensure that the obtained results are comparable to those from other existing data sources. We also offer improvement services to existing data sources, enhancing a more efficient data collection. Likewise, we offer advice on what variables to include to answer the question of interest, we train data collection personnel, etc.
Where possible, we make use or complement the diagnosis-reports with existing data sources, as those from international, national, or regional statistical institutes (Eurostat, Spanish National Statistics Institute – INE, or Eustat, among others) or administrative microdata (such as the Public Employment Services – PES – registry of unemployed people in Spain or data from the Social Security services like the Spanish Continuous Professional Life Sample – MCVL). We also use open data sites from the public administrations (Open Data Euskadi, datos.gob.es, etc.).
We put figures to reality.
At ISEAK we offer support to public institutions, companies, and tertiary sector institutions involved in decision-making. For that purpose, once the required information is collected, we employ statistical and econometric techniques to perform the most precise possible diagnostic or assessment on the challenge to intervene, being that unemployment, the gender gap, social inclusion, aging, the future of work, etc.
After a thorough exploitation of the databases, the main results are identified. Whenever possible, we address analytical tasks both from a static perspective (current picture) and a dynamic perspective (trend). This ensures we are able to set where we are heading on the observed trends.
Moreover, at ISEAK we recognize the importance of adequate data visualization so that all messages learned from the diagnosis are presented in a simple and easy-to-remember way.
After completing the diagnosis, we draw up the appropriate recommendations to obtain, for each project, the best results in future action areas. As part of local, national, and international networks, we learn and contribute to disseminating knowledge on good policy practices. By adapting – not copying – good policy practices implemented in other societies we bring successful initiatives to the challenges present in the project at hand.
We measure and evaluate the impact of programs.
When a program, an innovation, or a public policy is implemented or modified, it is imperative to measure its impact; that is, what changes has the intervention brought vis-à-vis the fictitious state where no intervention would have occurred (this approach is known as counterfactual evaluation). Unfortunately, counterfactual evaluations are much more the exception than the rule. ISEAK is specialized in Impact Evaluation, measuring the efficacy and efficiency of programs, projects, and policies as well as the efficacy and efficiency of resources employed.
First, we measure if the desired objectives have been adequately met and whether the project has moved in the right direction. Secondly, we evaluate whether the implementation has had indirect effects. It is often the case that programs or policies produce other effects beyond the desired one, many of them unexpected. Some of these indirect effects might be aligned with the purposes of the program or policy but, in other instances, they work in the opposite direction. Third, we evaluate not only the efficacy but also the efficiency, that is, whether a different allocation of the same resources could have achieved better results. Finally, we offer support on how to improve the design and implementation of new programs or policies.
We spread information and knowledge.
We want the knowledge we generate to be accessible to society at large. At ISEAK we believe that a well-informed society is a modern society that demands that decisions are taken to improve social wellbeing.
Nowadays, not all available information is easy to read. At ISEAK we offer truthful and permanently up-to-date knowledge to society on social and economic issues.
To carry out this task, we make use of:
- Reports that explain the main results of our diagnoses and evaluations.
- Labs that visualize the challenges that concern our society, such as unemployment, the gender gap, etc.
- Presentations and lectures, such as talks, workshops, or press conferences.
- Appearance at the media
- Workshop organization
- Posts in social network sites
- Academic papers