Chattanooga data efforts get boost from Bloomberg

Chattanooga is among the first eight cities selected for a nationwide initiative to improve government performance and transparency through civic data. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities is providing support and training for midsize cities. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation is spending $42 million over three years to connect cities with experts in data…

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Chapin Hall launches ‘Voices of Youth Count’

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago is launching Voices of Youth Count, a multi-year original research and policy effort designed to understand how many unaccompanied runaway youth and young people experiencing homelessness there are in the United States. The effort also aims to create a clear and full picture of what it means to…

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3 Questions: Amy Finkelstein on testing health care systems

Amy Finkelstein, an MIT economist, explains why randomized trials can improve medical care. “About 80 percent of studies of U.S. medical interventions use randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the gold standard of laboratory research. But only about 18 percent of studies of U.S. health care delivery use RCTs. That can and should change, suggests Amy Finkelstein,…

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Camden, NJ Project Seeks Better Health and Safety Through Data-Sharing

For close to a decade, a group of Camden health-care providers has used a database of information culled from the city’s three hospitals to evaluate medical costs, identify hot spots in neighborhoods, and develop outreach programs. Soon, the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers will also be able to look at data from the criminal justice…

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HUD and HHS Test Match Data to Benefit HUD-Assisted Households

WASHINGTON – In a ground-breaking cross-agency collaboration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) produced the first-ever dataset of HUD-assisted households that includes Medicare and Medicaid claims data.  Despite the potential usefulness of combining administrative data across agencies, such projects are rare and…

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IDS Has Potential to Improve Public School Rating System

The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) published an article that emphasized integrated data systems (IDS) as a worthwhile tool that can be used to better rate public schools. NYC schools are often labeled as successes or failures. Research indicates this rating is inadequate because academic performances are compared only to other schools with similar demographics….

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Paul Decker, APPAM President, on the Importance of Using Evidence in Policy Making

Paul Decker’s presidential address focused on the importance of using evidence in policy making and public management. In it he emphasized three main points: (1) during these tough economic times, the use of research and evidence are becoming more and more valued; (2) government must embrace the use of data to inform policy and practice;…

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IDS Emphasizes Pattern Difficulties of Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

Behavioral Health Needs and School Success is a collaborative report released by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Research and Data Analysis Division (RDA). This study explores the complicated relationships between behavioral health, risk factors related to social and health service needs, and high school outcomes for 28,922 DSHS…

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Youth Released from Juvenile Rehabilitation Institutes Suffer from Homelessness

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) with participation from the Research and Data Analysis Division (RDA) has released a report titled Impact of Homelessness on Youth Recently Released from Juvenile Rehabilitation Facilities. The population for this report consists of 962 youth offenders released from a JR institution in 2010 and 2011….

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Breakthrough Study Finds Foster Youth Face Significant Academic Hurdles

A new study, Foster Youth Transitions, released by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), in conjunction with the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), with funding from the Stuart Foundation, examines the educational outcomes of foster youth in comparison to peers from similar disadvantaged backgrounds. Foster youth often experience instability and…

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Family Group Decision Making: A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact on Out-of-Home Placement

In 1999, Allegheny County became the first county in Pennsylvania to implement Family Group Decision Making (FGDM), an intervention designed to improve safety and permanency for maltreated children. FGDM involves bringing a family’s natural support system to the table with the formal child welfare system when making critical decisions, including placement decisions. In 2011, with…

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The Unique and Combined Effects of Homelessness and School Mobility on the Educational Outcomes of Young Children

This study examined the unique and combined associations of homelessness and school mobility with educational well-being indicators, as well as the mediating effect of absenteeism, for an entire cohort of third-grade students in Philadelphia. Using integrated archival administrative data from the public school district and the municipal Office of Supportive Housing, multilevel linear models were…

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NY Times: Applying Evidence to Social Programs

Jon Baron argues the Importance of Applying Evidence to Social Programs In a New York Times Economix article Jon Baron, President of the Coaliation for Evidence-Based Policy, argues that in order for social programs and policies to work better, the focus needs to shift to “scientific evidence of ‘what works.’” He notes that fields such as medicine…

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