We have the data to improve social services at the state and local levels. So how do we use it?

05.25.23 | 4 min read | 文字卡琳娜·格哈特(Karinna Gerhardt)&Faith Savaiano

共同19岁的大流行揭露了一些人已经知道的东西:我们国家依靠提供关键社会服务和福利的系统一直是过时,undersupported, 和provide atrocious customer experiences这很快将导致大多数私营企业失败。


In a recent paper, “Blending and Braiding Funds: Opportunities to Strengthen State and Local Data and Evaluation Capacity in Human Services,” researchers Kathy Stack and Jonathan Womer deliver a playbook for state and local governments to better understand the limitations and opportunities for leveraging federal funding to build better integrated data infrastructure that allows program owners to track participant outcomes.

良好的数据是从地方到联邦一级提供有效的政府服务的关键组成部分。Right now, too much useful data lives in a silo, preventing other programs from conducting analyses that inform and improve their approach – state and local governments should strive to modernize their data systems by building a centralized infrastructure and tools for cross-program analysis, with the ultimate goal of improving a wide range of social programs.

The good news is that state and local governments are authorized to use federal grant money to conduct data analysis and evaluation of the programs funded by the grant. However, federal agencies typically structure grants in ways that make it difficult for states and localities to share data, collaborate on program evaluation, and build evaluation capacity across programs.

Interviews with leading programs in科罗拉多州,印第安纳州iana,Kentucky,俄亥俄州,罗德岛, 和Washington尽管面临多种政府计划的挑战,但揭示了州和地方政府用来建立和维护综合数据系统的许多不同方法。这些方法范围包括:采用强大的执行愿景,与外部合作伙伴(例如研究小组和大学)合作,投资于建立基准能力,以实现更高级别的分析工作,进行至关重要的初步分析,以激发决策者直接提供直接州资金,以及(最著名的)弄清楚如何从多个联邦赠款来源编织和融合资金。这些州中的计划证明,可以建立一个集中式系统,以评估各种政府服务的结果和影响。



  1. stimulus funding根据美国救援计划的州和地方财政回收基金以及《基础设施投资与就业法》;
  2. program-specific funding that funds centralized capacity;
  3. 直接的州或地方拨款;
  4. 根据项目为项目提供资金;
  5. 成本分配计费计划;和
  6. hybrid funding models.

作者倡导各州和地区blend funds and braid funds在适当的情况下,为了充分利用联邦资金机会。混合资金are sourced from multiple grants but lose their distinction upon blending; this type of federal funding requires statutory authority, and may have uniform reporting requirements. Alternatively,braided fundsalso come from separate sources, but remain distinct within the braided pot, with the original reporting, tracking, and eligibility requirements preserved from each source. Financing projects and programs via braiding funds is far more time-consuming, but it does not require special statutory authority.

While states and localities can strengthen and expand integrated data systems alone, the federal government should also take important steps to accelerate state and local progress. Stack and Womer point out a number of options that do not require legislative action. For example, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other federal agencies could issue clear guidance that recipients of federal grants must build and maintain efficient data infrastructure and analytics capacity that can support cross-program coordination and shared data usage. Regulatory and administrative actions like this would make it easier for states and localities to finance data systems via blending and braiding federal funds.