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The Community Data Collaboration Project: Developing and Testing a Framework for Community Data Use Capacity

Data-informed strategies are critical to efforts that address health disparities and make progress toward health equity. Administrative data, as well as other national and local data, offer a wealth of resources that can be put to good use. Community Science and its partner, Community Indicators Consortium, is working with a federal agency to mine lessons from the field about facilitating community collaboration around the use of administrative and other secondary data related to social determinants of health. 

The specific objectives for the project are:

  1. Develop a framework for fostering collaboration among community-based organizations to use local administrative and secondary data to inform their work to end health disparities;
  2. Identify outcomes that can be expected from the framework’s implementation;
  3. Understand knowledge, skills, resources, and other capacities required to implement, support, and sustain the framework; and
  4. Determine the facilitators and barriers to engaging a diverse group of community-based organizations, leaders, and other partners to access, use, and share data, and identify potential solutions to the barriers.

Two communities—Sarasota (Florida) and Tacoma-Pierce County (Washington)—have been selected to be part of the project. We are working closely with the anchor organizations in both communities to co-design a capacity-building process that emphasizes community engagement, cross-sector collaboration, and a social determinants of health approach. The activities that we will be conducting include:

  • Developing a logic model for the study, and synthesizing findings from a literature review and key informant interviews on the theory and practice of forming community data collaboratives to access, use, and share administrative and secondary data to inform their strategies to end health disparities—all to inform the framework’s development and implementation;
  • Applying the framework and working with each organization to strengthen community collaboration, determine the common issue the collaborative wants to address, and develop a work plan to access and use the necessary data to inform the collaborative’s strategies to end health disparities;
  • Conducting trainings and providing technical assistance to collaborative members on accessing and using the administrative and secondary data needed to inform the strategies;
  • Evaluating the implementation and outcomes of the framework in the two communities and refining the framework; and
  • Disseminating the framework and lessons learned about its application.
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