This new report developed by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) offers municipal leaders a detailed guide for building management information systems in order to coordinate local afterschool programs more effectively. Building Management Information Systems to Coordinate Citywide Afterschool Programs: A Toolkit for Cities (pdf) includes a wealth of information and advice for city leaders and a growing library of online resources, including:
Also available are an array of supplemental resources, including a model request for information, sample data sharing agreements, afterschool needs assessments, and links to resources published by NLC policy partners and member cities.
Comprehensive, citywide afterschool systems have emerged in several dozen communities across the country as a promising strategy for improving the safety, health and academic preparedness of children and youth. A 2011 report by the YEF Institute described how city leaders in these communities are partnering with school districts, foundations and nonprofit providers to coordinate and expand access to high-quality programs.
Yet cities often lack the data needed to answer basic questions about the scope and impact of local afterschool programs and systems. To address this challenge, cities need to implement technologies to track, store, and correlate data on youth participation across dozens of organizations. They depend on networks of skilled professionals to share, analyze, and act on that information. In many cities, these systems do not yet exist or are only partially complete.
Building these systems requires a broadly collaborative effort to determine what information to collect and how to use it, how to negotiate data sharing agreements without violating privacy laws, and whether to build or buy the technology backbone that will support the many service providers, managers, and researchers that need access to that data to make better decisions.
This report describes a number of the most promising approaches to building afterschool management information systems. It is a compendium of "what works," containing numerous examples of efforts led by different city departments, nonprofit intermediaries, schools and foundations.