Decision-makers need an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of Canadian society to help them respond not only to today's needs, but to anticipate tomorrow's as well. This need is underlined by a growing demand for analytical output from the rich sources of data collected by Statistics Canada.
The Research Data Centres RDCs are part of an initiative by Statistics Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and university consortia to help strengthen Canada's social research capacity and to support the policy research community. The program would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
RDCs provide researchers with access, in a secure university setting, to microdata from population and household surveys. The centres are staffed by Statistics Canada employees. They are operated under the provisions of the Statistics Act in accordance with all the confidentiality rules and are accessible only to researchers with approved projects who have been sworn in under the Statistics Act as 'deemed employees.'
RDCs are located throughout the country, so researchers do not need to travel to Ottawa to access Statistics Canada microdata.
To know more about the activities of RDCs, please visit the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) website.
In 1998, the Canadian Initiative on Social Statistics studied the challenges facing the research community in Canada. One of the recommendations of the national task force report on the Advancement of Research using Social Statistics was the creation of research facilities to give academic researchers improved access to Statistics Canada's microdata files. This access would allow researchers in the social sciences to build expertise in quantitative methodology and analysis.
The research data centres provide opportunities to: