Brief Investing in Data Capacity for Community Change
Leah Hendey, Kathryn L.S. Pettit, Jake Cowan, Marcus Gaddy
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Communities are hungry to be able to use data as a tool to bring stakeholders together and make progress on ambitious goals such as reducing persistent poverty and advancing economic mobility. Despite the widespread interest in using data, actors across sectors too often lack the necessary data skills and resources to fulfill these aspirations. And the capacity to use data that does exist in communities is not held equitably. Foundations, whether national or tied to a place, are positioned to use their resources and influence to help remedy both the overall shortage and the unequal distribution of skills and resources to use data. To enhance a community’s ability to achieve change, they can promote the use of data by grantees, champion community data resources and capacity, and invest directly in building community-wide capacity.

This brief is part of the Elevate Data for Equity project that provides knowledge and tools for using data to advance equity and community health. Learn about the elements of community data capacity here (PDF).The project draws on insights from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Photo by Patrick Manning

Research Areas Nonprofits and philanthropy Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Tags Nonprofit data and statistics Foundations and philanthropy Data and technology capacity of nonprofits National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP)
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center