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NRC Workshop Feature: Data and Community Engagement

The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building.  She is an undergraduate student who has been assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference.
 
In this digital age of transparency, the openness of data matters. Especially in issues that concern communities. To effect individual and neighborhood-level change in American communities, today’s top non-profits are putting data in the hands of community members themselves.
 
The 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, co-sponsored by the Alliance for Children and Families and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, addresses this connection between data and communities in a workshop entitled “Engaging Community in Data Collection, Analysis, and Planning.”  Presenters Elsa Falkenburger, Leah Hendey, and Kathryn Pettit of the Urban Institute and Isaac Castillo of Alliance member organization the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) will lead the workshop.
 
Castillo, DCPNI’s Director of Data and Evaluation, emphasizes the importance of presenting data to residents in meaningful ways. “At DCPNI, we strive to include residents in the data collection process," he says. "We want residents to use data; the best way to get residents to use data is to have them involved from the point the data are collected through when the data are released publicly.”  This type of inclusive approach is important for all organizations trying to enhance their engagement efforts.
 
The interactive skill-building workshop, held on July 24, the first day of the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, will showcase efforts to combine the skills of research experts with the deep knowledge that community residents have of their neighborhoods, as well as examples from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and the DC Promise Neighborhood of sharing data with community groups to spur new conversations and inform strategies.
 
Early bird registration for the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference is available online until June 24.  For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter.  Follow the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building and keep up with conference news using the hashtag #NRC14.  You can also follow Isaac Castillo and the Urban Institute for updates on their work in engaging communities with data.

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