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Posted by on Oct 4, 2017

Polis Center to Host National Conference on Democratizing Data

On October 11-13, the Polis Center at IUPUI will host the semi-annual meeting of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a network of independent data intermediaries across the US that have a shared mission to help community stakeholders use neighborhood-level data for better decision-making.

Eighty people representing 34 cities, along with other national leaders in community information, will gather in Indianapolis to learn how data are being used to improve the quality of life for residents in Indianapolis and other partner cities. The Polis Center at IUPUI has been a member of NNIP since 1999 and hosted the conference previously in 2007. Polis developed one of the first comprehensive online and interactive neighborhood indicators systems created for any city called SAVI. SAVI (Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators) is now one of the nation’s largest community information systems and allows people to explore and map social issues such as poverty and education across neighborhoods and other geographies. Its goal is to provide actionable data to inform local decisions and policies.

Highlights from this year’s event include presentations from partner organizations from Rice University in Houston, TX and The Data Center of New Orleans discussing the critical role of data in the immediate aftermath and long-term recovery from hurricanes and other natural disasters. An Indianapolis panel of leaders from United Way of Central Indiana, John Boner Community Center, City of Indianapolis, and Parkview Health will share challenges and successes in their move toward a data informed culture.  Attendees also will learn how to build a data-driven community and how to employ user-centered design.

NNIP combines local expertise with the power of a national peer-learning network to strengthen communities. The local partner organizations are skilled in organizing and transforming data and have developed neighborhood indicators across many topics that are kept to date.  All partners have a focus on assisting organizations and residents in low-income communities. With expertise on a range of issues, NNIP partners act as conveners to connect nonprofits and government agencies across policy domains. NNIP is supported and coordinated by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington DC. All the network activities are grounded in Urban’s decades of social and economic policy analyses. Urban elevates the collective experience from NNIP to inform local and national policy.