Putting Data to Work For Immigrants and Communities: Tools for the Washington, DC Metro Area and Beyond
While immigrant service and advocacy organizations may have hands-on knowledge of the local population that they serve, these organizations can benefit greatly from the effective use of statistical data from well-known and reliable sources. Based on preliminary findings suggesting a disconnect between available demographic resources and the data interests and needs of community-based organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, this guide attempts to bridge this gap by identifying data sources and offering a template for action. Despite its regional focus, the resource guide is relevant for all. The publication also features a compact “data users pullout guide” designed for easy reference by staff at non-profit organizations.
Authors begin by identifying concrete areas where organizations can and do use data to mobilize public support, write persuasive grant proposals, design and assess programs, and understand the context in which they undertake their nuts-and-bolts work. Addressing the tremendous variability in data needs and statistical experience among organizations, the report then identifies the key features, advantages, and limitations of data available through a variety of U.S. government sources, private organizations, local governments and agencies, and relevant publications. The report then discusses budget-conscious ways to commission customized analysis for organizations with particularly extensive or unique data needs before highlighting low-cost demographic training services and providers.