How Can United Ways and Their Coalitions Improve Data Access, Quality and Use?

  • Establish data sharing agreements Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with local schools, districts, and community-based organizations to facilitate access to individual student data while protecting rights of privacy.
  • Invest in data software systems that multiple programs can use to help reduce costs.
  • Collaborate to provide training for program staff on using data software and analyzing student and program data.
  • Phase in program data collection requirements and gradually add more elements over time.
  • evaluations that include multiple programs to get economies of scale and reduce evaluation costs.
  • Streamline the data collection process by working with funders across funding streams to establish common data elements requiring programs to collect and report on data.
  • Take the lead in using data to develop and publish reports on program impacts for key out-of-school time community stakeholders.
  • Require programs to collect data from parents and program participants so that their valuable input is included in evaluations and used to inform program improvements.
  • Focus on alignment between stated program goals, activities, intended outcomes, and data indicators.