Data for Change: Building community data capacity

Data is essential to design community policies, systems and programs. However, many small- and mid-sized community-based organizations (CBOs) working to advance community health and equity face barriers and capacity challenges for using data to demonstrate their impact and strengthen their initiatives. Building data capacity across CBOs helps them support their communities to ensure a healthier, more equitable future.

Providence’s Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) is a team of scientists, researchers and data experts with a vision for a healthier, more equitable future. Based in Portland, Ore., CORE partners with changemakers and communities to take on today’s biggest barriers to better health. Through research, evaluation and analytics, CORE provides insights that help shape and sustain healthier polices, systems and programs.

CORE convened a diverse group of CBOs who share Providence’s goal of advancing community health and equity to form a Data for Change cohort.

Data for Change is designed to strengthen CBOs’ capacity to use data to address community needs and sustain promising programs. The first cohort ended in 2022, and based on its success, another cohort was started.

Providence Community Health Investment works with each CBO to understand its needs and develop a workplan with clear goals related to data capacity. Each organization meets with CORE staff for individualized technical assistance and then with each other at workshops designed around specific data topics.

These workshops are also places where participants can surface issues or questions for other CBOs and share about their successes, learnings and challenges.