By Leah Hendey, Deputy Director, National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership
I had the opportunity to represent the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) at the All In National Meeting in April and heard about the exciting progress All In communities are making to better address the social determinants of health for individuals, and to collaborate and share data with institutions across sectors.
NNIP and All In have a lot in common. Our partners are involved in multi-sector data-sharing and collaboration and take part in a peer-learning network. NNIP Partners are independent organizations that operate in 32 cities and share a mission to help community stakeholders use neighborhood data for better decisionmaking, with a focus on assisting organizations and residents in low-income communities. Staff from NNIP Partner organizations are working with All In community projects in Austin, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, and Seattle.
All In National Meeting participants are sophisticated data users (how often do you see people proudly wearing “Data Nerd” ribbons on their name tags?!). But we also regularly interact with staff at nonprofits and government agencies that haven’t been trained to use data and leverage information to improve their service delivery and outcomes. This issue — the need for training on data and technology — surfaced in many discussions at the national meeting. NNIP and Microsoft’s Civic Technology Engagement Group have been engaged in a project over the last year to address this need and help expand training on data and technology to improve communities. We’re excited to announce that we just released a set of resources help communities promote the expansion of training. We offer four recommendations for community stakeholders to work collectively on:
- Expanding the training available to government and nonprofit staff;
- Fostering opportunities for sharing training materials and lessons;
- Identifying allies who can enhance and support local training efforts; and
- Assessing the local landscape of data and technology training.
How can you get involved? If you are considering providing training yourself, our guide to planning and conducting training gives advice on how to assess local needs, develop training content, and fund these efforts. We also developed a catalog of trainings from organizations in NNIP and connected with Microsoft that includes training materials that could be adapted for your local context. Finally, we released a brief that can be used to help generate support for training that provides key action steps for various sectors to ensure that local government and nonprofit staff have the data and technology skills needed for their civic missions.
To learn how you can use these resources in your community, visit www.neighborhoodindicators.org/training!
About the Author
Leah Hendey is the deputy director of NNIP and a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, which serves as the coordinator for NNIP. Her research focuses on affordable housing and neighborhoods nationally, and locally in the Greater Washington area. She also serves at Deputy Director of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. She can be reached at LHendey@urban.org.