Collecting Data and Monitoring Your Program
Building a program that intentionally uses a racial equity frame requires continuous feedback to ensure that the assistance is reaching the desired households and not reinforcing existing inequity. Often, policies that on their face seem neutral may have a positive or negative impact on the participation of households of color. Routine process and program monitoring check points are vital for ensuring that your program is having its desired impact.
Monitoring program processes and implementation
- Have you identified what success will look like, based on your goals and prioritization?
- Are you tracking participants’ demographics, against targets, as they move through the pipeline, such as households that apply, households that provide the necessary documentation, households that are qualified for assistance, households that have received assistance? For example, if you are prioritizing three census tracts based on the ERAP tool or other local data, are you meeting your goal percentage of participants in those census tracts?
- If the data are available, could you also compare participants’ demographics against the demographics of households evicted before moratoriums?
- Are you monitoring how long it takes people to complete the application process?
- If you notice any bottlenecks, do you have mechanisms for troubleshooting?
- Are you monitoring by demographics to see whether certain groups of people are less likely to complete the application process? At what points do these groups drop out?
- Are you tracking the amount of assistance received by participants’ demographics?
- Are you tracking landlords’ characteristics as they move through the pipeline, particularly small versus large landlords?
- What mechanisms do you have to follow up with applicants who are nonresponsive or not moving forward on their application on their own?
- Are you consulting partner organizations about trends or program suggestions?
- Do you have mechanisms for changing aspects of your program on the basis of your data and input from partners?
Monitoring program outcomes
- Are you disaggregating data based on race and ethnicity to identify who is being served?
- Are you using local data sources to track program outcomes?
- Are you monitoring homeless management information system data for households served?
- Are you monitoring eviction court filings for households served?
- Are you sharing program data with partner organizations? With the public?
- Can you develop ways to collect additional qualitative data to illuminate quantitative trends?
- Are you using different methods of engagement to gather feedback from people being served? Examples include a survey of participants and follow-up interviews.
- Do you plan to evaluate your program, track long-term housing stability for the households served, or both?
Building capacity for data collection and program monitoring
- Do you have a staff person responsible for collecting data?
- Have you considered partnering with a research organization or a local university?
- Do you review the data regularly (e.g., weekly, biweekly)?