Developing the Hartford, Conn. Data Collaborative
Amy Hawn Nelson
Amy Hawn Nelson is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania, charged with overseeing all parts of the AISP Learning Communities Initiative. This includes providing training, technical assistance, and support to developing IDS sites. Prior to joining AISP in 2017, Dr. Hawn Nelson was the Director of Social Research for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, an applied research institute serving the Charlotte region for over 40 years, and Director of the Institute for Social Capital, an integrated data system charged with supporting university research and enhancing data-informed decision-making in the Charlotte region. Prior to entering the world of IDS’ in 2012, Hawn Nelson served as a teacher and school leader for 11 years. Hawn Nelson is a community-engaged researcher and has presented and written extensively on intersectional topics related to educational equity.
Geethika Fernando, MPH, is the Data Coordinator for the Hartford Data Collaborative initiative at the Connecticut Data Collaborative. Fernando manages the data governance aspects of the shared data infrastructure including stakeholder engagement, communication, oversight of the data license request process, and management of formal governance committees and review processes. She is passionate about positively impacting how communities view and use data. She also strives to help communities leverage data for better outcomes. Fernando has designed and conducted evaluations both locally and internationally. Originally from Sri Lanka, Fernando holds a Master of Public Health from Harvard University with concentrations in population and global health.
Data sharing is hard. Sharing data takes time and resources to generate questions, identify available data to answer questions, negotiate agreements, and solve technical challenges such as secure transfer and storage. Integrating data at the individual level is even harder, given the increased complexity and risk of linking identifiable data. And doing all of this in a cross-sector city-wide collaborative? Well, let’s just say we are optimists.
Data flows at the speed of trust, and trust can be difficult to establish across agencies and organizations. Join Amy Hawn Nelson and Geethika Fernando for a discussion about the development of the Hartford Data Collaborative, a shared data infrastructure in Hartford, CT. We will discuss the process of engaging agencies in data sharing efforts, and how the last year has been spent discussing motivations, concerns, and expectations in order to build trust and establish the rules of the shared infrastructure so that data can be used to improve the lives of Hartford residents.