2. Harmonisation of national indicators of loneliness

Harmonisation is about ensuring consistency in the use of definitions, survey questions, administrative data and in the presentation of outputs across the Government Statistical Service (GSS). Harmonisation is important in maximising the usefulness of data collected and statistics produced. Ensuring comparability across the GSS is important as it maximises the power of data and analyses without compromising quality.

The Interim Harmonised Principle for loneliness has been agreed by the cross-government National Statistics Harmonisation Group (NSHG) and approved by the National Statistics Harmonisation Steering Group (NSH SG). From today (5 December 2018), the loneliness indicators outlined in this section will form part of a new GSS Interim Harmonised Principle for loneliness that can be accessed through the GSS web pages.

We will encourage the roll-out of the Interim Harmonised Principles for loneliness across the GSS and more widely, and suggest taking stock and making any refinements necessary within two years, after survey data have been analysed, before proposing the final GSS Harmonised Principle. The GSS Harmonisation Team will monitor implementation of the loneliness principle to ensure harmonisation is adhered to.

We would welcome your feedback on how well the loneliness indicators work and any improvements you would suggest, before submitting them for final approval as GSS Harmonised Principles in 2020. Please get in touch with us by contacting:

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