OFA Webinar: Centering Racial Equity in TANF Data Use
Data sharing and integration help break down program silos so practitioners and policymakers can address the interconnected needs of families and communities more effectively. To meet this goal, institutions need to acknowledge how historical structural bias and systemic inequity embedded in policies and programs may have and continue to affect their data. Data infrastructure can be a powerful tool to support equity-oriented reform.
The Office of Family Assistance hosted an interactive webinar on February 15, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET which presented findings from A Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration. The Toolkit was collaboratively generated by a workgroup of civic data stakeholders convened by Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. The work is organized across six stages of the administrative data life cycle: planning, data collection, data access, use of algorithms and statistical tools, analysis, and reporting and dissemination.
In this webinar, presenters highlighted positive and problematic practices for using, sharing, and integrating TANF and other administrative data; provided an overview of how data collection and integration under TANF and AFDC has historically affected data sharing and how integration of new practices could change the future of data sharing; discuss real-life examples of centering racial equity in data use, including Minnesota's Economic Assistance and Employment Supports Division's current efforts; and engaged participants in breakout rooms to discuss webinar concepts and how they apply to their practice environment.
Sharon Zanti, Doctoral Fellow, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania;
Ben Jaques-Leslie, Research Scientist, Minnesota Department of Human Services;
Melissa Wavelet, Senior Fellow, MDRC; and
Alexandra Pennington, Social Science Analyst/TANF Data Portal Technical Lead, TANF Data Division, Office of Family Assistance (Webinar Facilitator).
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