Brief Local Data as an Equity Tool
How Data Intermediaries and Backbone Organizations Use Data to Improve Service Provision and Center Community Voices
Fay Walker, Sonia Torres Rodríguez, Mica O'Brien
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Data intermediaries and backbone organizations, two types of place-based organizations, play a key role in helping their communities attain equitable outcomes, which they can do by building local data capacity, creating data-driven partnerships, and centering community voices. To better understand how backbone organizations and data intermediaries (two types of place-based organizations) have used data to improve service provision and center community voices during the pandemic, we interviewed organizations affiliated with the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, Promise Neighborhoods, and StriveTogether to identify strategies and key practices place-based organizations can use to build local data capacity with their partners, use local data to improve service provision and day-to-day operations, and amplify community voices.  Drawing on findings from these interviews, this brief outlines three steps to building local data capacity and using data to build racial equity: enhancing data access for community change, building local data infrastructure for responsive services, and using data to amplify community voices through research design, data collection, and dissemination.

Research Areas Nonprofits and philanthropy Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Tags Nonprofit data and statistics Data and technology capacity of nonprofits
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Research Methods Performance measurement and management