Data with purpose: How CORE's Data for Change program drives meaningful impact

December 13, 2023

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  • Since launching in 2021, CORE's Data for Change program has helped over 30 community partners grow their data literacy and capacity to use data. 
  • The program's 2023 success stories include Rose Haven and Restoration House, two unique organizations working to create positive change in their communities.  
  • Data for Change has helped these organizations enact new systems and strategies for using data to deliver on their missions.

Collecting and analyzing data is critical to developing more effective policies, changing systems, and offering programs that meet community needs. Yet data literacy and expertise are often viewed as the purviews of organizations with power and privilege—or simply as tools to satisfy funder requirements. These factors create barriers for community organizations seeking to build the capacity to use and analyze data within their organizations and in support of their work. 

CORE's Data for Change program responds to these challenges by partnering with community organizations to enhance their capacity for using data to grow and sustain promising and impactful programs. Since launching the program in 2021, CORE has worked with over 30 organizations offering services like housing and support for formerly incarcerated individuals, mental and behavioral health care, food access, and more. Many are grantees of Providence Oregon Community Health Investment, an invaluable Data for Change funder and partner. 

Read on to learn about two Data for Change partnerships supporting new and expanding programs that benefit local communities. 

Rose Haven: Launching and measuring a new program for mental health 

"Data for Change has given us a new perspective on our work. They often ask questions that we haven't even thought of!"- Rose Haven staff

Rose Haven, a day shelter for women and gender minorities in downtown Portland, Oregon, has participated in Data for Change for over a year. The partnership began as Rose Haven was launching its mental health advocacy program, which provides support groups, one-on-one therapy sessions and drop-in appointments with mental health staff.  

Data for Change coaches worked with Rose Haven to develop a logic model that clarifies desired program outcomes and creates data collection tools to measure those outcomes, including:  

  • Satisfaction surveys for ongoing support groups  
  • A corresponding template to track the data  
  • A tool to record information about 1:1 counseling sessions and de-escalation

These tools help Rose Haven gather data that helps improve the program over time and identify guest interests and needs as they develop new supports and skills-building groups. 

As Rose Haven has continued evolving the mental health advocacy program and enhancing its understanding of guest needs, we've continued collaborating to adapt and adjust their measurement approaches and data tools. In turn, this partnership has also provided CORE staff with valuable opportunities to learn more about the needs of a mental health program designed to support skills-building and crisis management. 

Restoration House: Supporting an expanding program's needs 

Restoration House in Seaside, Oregon, offers housing and support for formerly incarcerated men with significant psychological or behavioral issues. With funding from a recent grant, the organization began building additional housing units that will more than double the number of clients served. However, with this expansion and the prospect of serving more clients with serious mental health illness, staff recognized a need to strengthen their approach to data collection and reporting.   

The Data for Change team worked with Restoration House to transition its data collection and storage practices from a paper-based approach to easy-to-use digital templates in Microsoft Excel. These changes reduce the time, burden, and potential error around data collection and reporting while increasing data privacy and improving data storage. Even after the year-long Data for Change coaching sessions concluded, CORE continued collaborating with Restoration House via occasional consultations, training and peer learning through Data for Change webinars and the annual in-person Data Summit.   

"The Data for Change coaches provided much-appreciated guidance and created a template to initiate a data management process." - Restoration House staff

Collaborating for meaningful change 

The partnerships and connections forged through Data for Change have given our team at CORE a remarkable opportunity to collaborate with a diverse range of community organizations, including smaller organizations that we may not have had a chance to work with otherwise. Our efforts extend beyond enhancing how these partners collect and utilize data; we've also gained invaluable insights into the opportunities and successful strategies employed within local communities. In turn, this informs how CORE can best support our partners in their endeavors to drive positive change across the state of Oregon and beyond. We are deeply humbled and inspired by the knowledge and positive impacts of these partnerships, and we look forward to continuing the Data for Change program into 2024 and beyond! 

To speak to our team about the program, get in touch!  

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