Apply Now: Learn to Advance Racial Equity in Public Data Integration

Posted February 14, 2022, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

In this image, the viewer looks over the shoulder of an anonymous male who is sitting at a table with a laptop open in front of him; his hands hover above the keyboard. Colorful charts and graphs are depicted on the laptop screen.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Action­able Intel­li­gence for Social Pol­i­cy (AISP), an ini­tia­tive based at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Pol­i­cy and Prac­tice, has issued a request for appli­ca­tions for a train­ing and tech­ni­cal assis­tance pro­gram to help edu­ca­tion, child wel­fare and oth­er state and local agen­cies advance racial equi­ty in their data inte­gra­tion efforts.

Fund­ed by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and the Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion, AISP’s Equi­ty in Prac­tice Learn­ing Com­mu­ni­ty will work with com­mu­ni­ties to build, test and refine new mod­els for incor­po­rat­ing res­i­dents’ per­spec­tives into key deci­sions about the devel­op­ment and use of data across sec­tors that serve chil­dren and fam­i­lies, with an empha­sis on health equi­ty and racial justice.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of inter­est­ed com­mu­ni­ties can down­load the request for appli­ca­tions, with sub­mis­sions due by March 252022

Coun­ter­ing His­toric Bias

The Casey Foun­da­tion has a long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to using data to build a shared under­stand­ing of the needs of chil­dren, young adults and fam­i­lies; to iden­ti­fy­ing bar­ri­ers to achiev­ing bet­ter youth out­comes; and to sup­port­ing and pro­mot­ing solu­tions for over­com­ing these obsta­cles. Shar­ing admin­is­tra­tive data among state and local agen­cies serv­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies can con­tribute to achiev­ing these goals.

Yet cross-sec­tor data sys­tems can also rein­force lega­cies of dis­crim­i­na­to­ry poli­cies and sup­port inequitable resource allo­ca­tion, access to ser­vices and out­comes. Many pub­lic agen­cies have not ade­quate­ly exam­ined and acknowl­edged bias in their his­to­ry — a bias that is often baked into con­tem­po­rary admin­is­tra­tive data. 

The Equi­ty in Prac­tice Learn­ing Com­mu­ni­ty builds on a tool kit AISP devel­oped — also fund­ed by the Casey Foun­da­tion — to put racial equi­ty at the cen­ter of data inte­gra­tion. With the new tech­ni­cal assis­tance oppor­tu­ni­ty, AISP is com­mit­ted to work­ing with par­tic­i­pat­ing sites to cre­ate a new kind of data infra­struc­ture that shares and builds pow­er and knowl­edge with the com­mu­ni­ties of col­or that need sys­tems change most,” says Christo­pher Kings­ley, Casey’s direc­tor of Data Tools and Measurement.

Cus­tomized Train­ing and Coaching

From June 2022 through Novem­ber 2024, par­tic­i­pat­ing sites in the Equi­ty in Prac­tice Learn­ing Com­mu­ni­ty will focus on shifts in pol­i­cy and prac­tice across the data life cycle: plan­ning, col­lec­tion of data, access to data, the use of sta­tis­ti­cal tools, analy­sis and report­ing and dis­sem­i­na­tion. The work will exam­ine cross-agency data gov­er­nance, research agen­das, legal agree­ments, staffing and com­mu­ni­ty participation.

The select­ed com­mu­ni­ties will receive:

  • cus­tomized train­ing and coach­ing from expe­ri­enced practitioners;
  • access to a com­mu­ni­ty of peers and men­tors work­ing at the inter­sec­tion of data and racial equity;
  • tuition and expens­es for trav­el, lodg­ing and meals for site teams of up to four peo­ple for two, two-and-a-half-day meet­ings at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia; and
  • direct grants of $50,000 to sup­port com­mu­ni­ty engagement.

AISP will host an option­al appli­cant webi­nar at 2 p.m. ET on Wednes­day, Feb. 16. Sites will be select­ed and noti­fied by April 25.

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