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Looking through the Five Safes Lens: Sensitive data sharing arrangements and research workflows

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posted on 2022-03-03, 02:35 authored by eRNZ AdmineRNZ Admin, Steven McEachern, Ingrid Mason

The CADRE (Coordinated Access for Data, Research and Environments) Platform project is a co-investment of nine organisations ranging from research intensive universities, federal government research organisations, and national research infrastructure providers. The central aim in developing the CADRE Platform is to expedite researcher access to sensitive data, by augmenting existing authentication and authorisation infrastructure services and establishing shared request management and decision-support services.

The CADRE project has used the Five Safes framework as a lens to understand and translate researcher, data owner and custodian, and service provider infrastructure requirements. The framework has been used conceptually to enable dialogue and establish a common information model that is designed to work across social boundaries and anticipates different types of protocols (technical, informational, social and cultural); and sensitive data sharing arrangements and research workflows that run across multiple systems through interoperation and complex collaborations.

The presentation will provide an overview of the Five Safes implementation framework developed by the CADRE team, along with a demonstration of the application of the framework to data managed by the Australian Data Archive (ADA). Several examples of cross-jurisdictional, cross-sectoral and cross-community data sharing arrangements that have served as use cases shaping the CADRE information model and driving the development of the CADRE Information Exchange will be referenced. These inter-institutional data sharing arrangements are the foundation for making sensitive data accessible for research through the Australian Data Archive:

Ten to Men – Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Australian Institute of Family Studies) DOI: 10.26193/JDE1TD

National Drug Strategy Household Survey (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) DOI: 10.26193/WRHDUL

Survey of the Bangladeshi People (Asia Foundation) DOI: 10.26193/D1SRMZ

Footprints in Time – Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (National Centre for Longitudinal Data, Department of Social Services) DOI: 10.26193/ICEBFP

CADRE Partners

The Australian National University
The Australian Access Federation
The Research Graph Foundation
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Australian Institute of Family Studies
Australian Research Data Commons
University of Melbourne (SOCEY)
UNSW (ERICA, Centre for Big Data Research in Health)
Swinburne University (Social Data Analytics Lab)

Partner co-investment in the CADRE platform project is $3.9M. The CADRE Platform project received $1.9M investment ( from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

Australian Data Archive,, accessed 20/10/2021

CADRE Platform Project,, accessed 20/10/2021

Office of the National Data Commissioner, Australian Government (2019), Best Practice Guide to Applying Data Sharing Principles, 15 March 2019,, accessed 20/10/2021


Dr Steven McEachern is the Director of the Australian Data Archive and CADRE project lead (ANU).

Ingrid Mason is the CADRE project and technical manager (ANU).


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