The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a national asset. As an independent information management agency, we enable other organisations to improve their policies and services and achieve their goals by making better use of evidence—a fundamental requirement for good decision making. In 2017, the Institute celebrates 30 years of providing high-quality, independent evidence on health and welfare in Australia. Over this time, especially over the last 5 years, our operating environment has changed markedly. It will continue to do so. The proliferation of data is now unprecedented. So, too, are the rapid changes in how data are captured, shared, analysed and communicated. The community, policymakers, service providers and researchers have high expectations that data are, and should be, available to inform them.

Board chair and CEO statement

As a trusted long-term player in developing and using people centred data, the AIHW welcomes the opportunities that these changes present.

The Institute now has a significant opportunity to strengthen its role as a national leader in turning data and information into knowledge and intelligence. To do this, we must build on our capabilities. In particular, we must build on our staff’s skills, experience and depth of knowledge about Australia’s health and welfare.

We must champion open and accessible data and information. We must also continue to protect privacy and maintain the confidence that others have in the high quality of our work.

We are delighted to present AIHW’s Strategic directions 2017–2021, which sets out how we will apply and strengthen our capabilities to meet our goals. We look forward to setting up an ambitious agenda in 2017 and to working with stakeholders as we vigorously pursue our vision and purpose.

Mrs Louise Markus, Board Chair

Mr Barry Sandison, CEO (Director)

Our vision

Stronger evidence, better decisions, improved health and welfare.

Our purpose

To create authoritative and accessible information and statistics that inform decisions and improve the health and welfare of all Australians.

Our values

In pursuing our vision, we draw on our independence and our expertise in health and welfare to strive for excellence in all we do.

We also uphold the Australian Public Service values of being...

  • Impartial – We are apolitical and provide the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.
  • Committed to service – We are professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and work collaboratively to  achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.
  • Accountable – We are open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the  framework of Ministerial responsibility.
  • Respectful – We respect all people, including their rights and their heritage.
  • Ethical – We demonstrate leadership, are trustworthy and act with integrity in all that we do.

Our strategic goals

Leaders in health and welfare data

We will enagage nationally and internationally with authorities in our domain to develop, promote and deliver quality standards, systems and processes for collecting, curating and linking health and welfare data.

Drivers of data improvements

We will build upon our trusted status to identify and respond to gaps and opportunities in multisource health and welfare data holdings. We will support our partners to develop and capture the data required to inform national priorities.

Expert sources of value-added analysis

We will harness and enhance our capabilities in the health and welfare domains to turn data and information into knowledge and intelligence. We will translate this evidence to provide insight into patterns, trends and outcomes, including how these compare across organisations, regions and internationally.

Champions for open and accessible data and information

We will leverage emerging technology and enhance our products and services in order to provide data and information tailored to diverse access, timeliness and quality requirements. We will support our partners in making their data accessible while protecting privacy.

Trusted strategic partners

We will foster strategic partnerships and engage collaboratively with stakeholders to deliver program‑specific expertise and enable others to achieve their strategic goals.

Our capabilities

We have over 500 statistical, administrative and communications staff, and more than 100 data holdings. Our governance arrangements are robust, and our privacy and confidentiality controls are strong. As well, we have
state-of-the-art business processes and infrastructure.

Our expert staff have contemporary skills and in-depth knowledge across health and welfare data and issues. They also have extensive experience in working collaboratively with jurisdictions and a range of other stakeholders in building health and welfare evidence.

Our foundations are solid,built over 3 decades of delivering quality evidence on health and welfare issues. We will continue to enhance this capability to support the ambitious agenda ahead of us.

In pursuing our strategic directions over the next 5 years, we will be guided by our vision and purpose as we harness our values, and apply and strengthen our capabilities to achieve our strategic goals.

Our Corporate Plan 2021–22 to 2024–25 will provide further information about the activities we undertake to achieve these goals, and the progress we make.