Strengthening Local Capacity for Data-Driven Decision Making

February 24, 2015

This talk drew upon lessons from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a collaboration of the Urban Institute and organizations in 35 cities. NNIP partners help local actors use neighborhood data to improve communities through policy, planning, and advocacy.

From her experience in NNIP, Kathryn Pettit of the Urban Institute discussed the types of information infrastructure needed to make good decisions in a local community — including open government data, integrated data systems, community indicators, and neighborhood data systems.

Examples from local partners demonstrated how stakeholders are using local data on health, housing, and education to set priorities and make better decisions, including examples from the Washington and Baltimore areas. For more information about NNIP, visit

PowerPoint presentation (ppt)

PDF of PowerPoint presentation (pdf)

Kathryn Pettit

Kathryn Pettit

Kathryn Pettit is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where her research focuses on measuring and understanding neighborhood change. Pettit directs the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a network of three dozen local organizations that collect, organize, and use neighborhood data to inform local advocacy and decision making. Her recent projects include an exploration of the open data movement and two recent books on the role of data in community change – Strengthening Communities for Neighborhood Data and What Counts: Harnessing Data for America's Communities.