Panel 3 | Government data – How it is formulated, combined and used

Friday November 20, 11:15 – 12:45pm



Government agencies generate and use data at the individual and the aggregate level. At the individual level, the purpose is to identify each person, assign rights and benefits, and require the fulfillment of obligations. At the aggregate level, data is used to enable program planning, execution, and assessment for reports (censuses, surveys, registries, and program-use statistics), for internal evaluation of government programs and for external, commercial, scientific and research uses.

This panel will examine the types of data national identification systems can generate through database data linkage in order to address whether the scale-up of national identification system changes research and data collection. The panel will also explore opportunities and challenges for the future as well as the importance of safeguards. Examples from health care and government registries will be used.


Vincenzo Bollettino, Director of Resilient Communities Program, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Enzo PS Dr. Bollettino is the Director of Resilient Communities Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Bollettino served for five years as Executive Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Dr. Bollettino has twenty years of professional and academic experience in international politics, humanitarian action, civil-military engagement in emergencies, and the security of humanitarian aid workers. He has spent that past fourteen years of his career at Harvard University in administration, teaching, and research. Current research focuses on civil military engagement during humanitarian emergencies, the security of humanitarian aid workers, and on the professionalization of the humanitarian aid field.

Dr. Bollettino has managed several large training and policy development initiatives related to international humanitarian law, responsibility to protect, and peace building operations and has designed security reporting systems and program evaluations for field security measures in complex emergencies. He has authored several publications related to disaster management and humanitarian assistance, and has consulted with numerous international nongovernmental organization and UN agencies.
He has taught courses on research design, peace building, and international politics at the Harvard Extension School. Dr. Bollettino came to Harvard University on a post-doctoral fellowship with the Program on Non-violent Sanctions and Cultural Survival at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He completed his Ph.D. at the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
Dr. Bollettino currently serves on the boards of EHLRA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance), ACF (Action Against Hunger), and the International Solutions Group.


Deborah Rose, Co-chair National ID Conference Harvard, Fellow FXB Center for Health & Human Rights, Harvard University

DRPhotoFromStonePhoto-640x800Dr. Rose is a visiting scholar at Harvard FXB. She is a chronic disease epidemiologist with interests in psychosocial epidemiology, demography, environmental health, and sustainable development. She has spent over 20 years designing and analyzing data from the US National Health Interview Survey focusing on 1990 Health Objectives, Healthy People 2010, tobacco use, Hispanic health, and advising the Ministries of Health of Hungary, Mexico, and Taiwan on best practices for their health interview surveys. She also was the first to advise the National Health Interview Survey of Mexico asking Mexican women about breast cancer screening practices. The resulting module uncovered the previously hidden epidemic of female breast cancer in that country. Two of her current projects are (1) co-chairing a conference on the formulation, assignment, protection, and use of national identification number systems, to be held at Harvard in November 2015 and (2) working with the University of Cape Coast, the Yale Alumni Service Corps, and the community of Yamoransa, Ghana, to bring computing, clean water, and sanitation to this crossroads village. In this capacity she is enstooled as Nana Abena Nkosuo Hemaa (Queen Mother for Development). Dr. Rose has an MPH and PhD from Yale University and an SM in population studies from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Ryan Seals, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

seals ryanRyan Seals is a postdoctoral research fellow in epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on environmental and occupational risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders, and on methods for making stronger causal inferences from observational studies. He obtained his Doctor of Science in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and prior to that completed his MPH in epidemiology from Emory University.

Jo Anne Barnhart, former Commissioner of Social Security (2001-2007)

barnhartJo Anne served as Commissioner of Social Security for the United States from 2001-2007.  Prior to becoming Commissioner, Jo Anne served for more than four years as a member of the Social Security Advisory Board. During the same period, she owned and managed her own political and public policy consulting company specializing in welfare and social service program design, policy implementation, evaluation, and legislation.

Other posts include serving as the first Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department for Health & Social Services (HHS) where she had responsibility for overseeing the nation’s major cash assistance and social services programs including the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program; Assistant Secretary for Family Support, Associate Commissioner for Family Assistance, and Deputy Associate Commissioner for Family Assistance.

During her career, Jo Anne served as Senator William V. Roth, Jr.’s legislative assistant, as his campaign manager for three re-election campaigns, as Minority Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Government Affairs, and as Political Director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Since her departure from Social Security Jo Anne has consulted domestically and internationally on program policy, design, and governmental relations.

Jo Anne is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where has taught a course on Designing Social Security Systems for the past eight years.

Jo Anne is a graduate of the University of Delaware and was born in Memphis, Tennessee