New Ways of Using Data in Federal Place-Based Initiatives

04 Dec 2014 |
New Ways of Using Data in Federal Place-Based Initiatives
Above: What Counts: Harnessing Data for America's Communities

What Counts: Harnessing Data for America's Communities, edited by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute, addresses the question, "How can we improve conditions in some of the country's most distressed places?" Its contributors argue that the answers must be data-driven and require better collection, use, and sharing of information across sectors. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the volume brings together authors from community development, public health, education, and related fields.

Victor Rubin and Michael McAfee's chapter, "New Ways of Using Data in Federal Place-Based Initiatives: Opportunities to Create a Results Framework and To Raise the Visibility of Equity Issues," lifts up two examples — Promise Neighborhoods and the Fair Housing Equity Assessment — that encourage the use of data by local entities engaged in planning and implementing programs that aim to improve community-wide outcomes for children and policies that promote regional equity.

Whether creating neighborhood or regional systems, Promise Neighborhoods and the Fair Housing Equity Assessment share the broad recognition that place matters—that the deficits in opportunity cannot be overcome without understanding the central role of neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions in shaping people’s lives. Place matters at the community level, where a child needs the supports provided by a Promise Neighborhood, and at the metropolitan level, where a family’s access to good jobs, a clean environment, and excellent schools should not be a function of income or race.

equity