Penn’s Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy project to launch new training program

July 18, 2017

Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, or AISP, a joint effort between the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and Graduate School of Education, will launch a training and technical assistance program for state and local governments interested in developing integrated data systems, or IDS.

John W. Fantuzzo, Penn GSE
Dr. John Fantuzzo

These systems enable governments to harness data across multiple agencies to improve policy analysis and establish more effective programs. Since its inception in 2009, AISP, has fostered the development, use and innovation of IDS for policy analysis and program reform. Integrated date systems link administrative data across multiple agencies to improve education, health and human service policies and practice and also helps solve social problems more effectively. AISP coordinates an existing network of 16 states and counties with IDS capacity.

The new training program will involve an inaugural stand-alone IDS learning community of eight states and two counties. This community will be guided through a newly-developed curriculum based on the expertise of AISP researchers and network practitioners.

“With this new initiative, more than half of the U.S. population will be in a jurisdiction with an integrated data system, bringing smarter, better and faster government policy making, as well as a vast set of opportunities for social science research and program evaluation,” said Dennis Culhanea professor and Dana and Andrew Stone Chair in Social Policy in the School of Social Policy & Practice and AISP co-principal investigator.

The 10 jurisdictions to be part of the inaugural IDS learning community are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah and Broward County, Fla., and King County, Wash. 

The learning community initiative will assist jurisdictions with developing a governance process, preparing a legal framework and creating a data and technology plan. Five more jurisdictions will be chosen later this year to form a second learning community that will launch in 2018.

Over the last year, AISP convened experts in key areas of IDS development. They produced four reports which are being used to create the learning community curriculum. Experts who wrote and prepared the reports include faculty from five schools at Penn: AISP co-principal investigators Culhane and John Fantuzzo, the Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relation at GSE; Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett, a professor in the School of Law; Jeffrey Vagle, an associate professor of computer and information science in the School of Arts & Sciences and lecturer in Penn Law; and Ken Steif, a lecturer in the School of Design. 

The expert panel reports were funded through The Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Curriculum development was further supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Learning Community will be funded through the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


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