Access & Transparency


Making the Most of Open Data

The aim of open government data—to open the storehouses of government data to the world in order for the data to have maximum use and effectiveness—is a bold one. Open data initiatives reposition governments as suppliers of data and also anticipate the participation of additional parties in using those data.


The Creation of the National Mortgage Database

Public policy, regulatory agendas and the growing enthusiasm with big data have sparked an interest […]


In Brief: Applying Technology Advances to Improve Public Access to Mortgage Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has developed new mortgage data tools to provide public HMDA data in more user-friendly forms to improve transparency in the mortgage market. These tools make it easier for the public to analyze market trends and emerging risks. Public officials also gain improved access to the public data to conduct analyses that may inform future policymaking and research.


Three Data Access Trends Shaping the Future of Community Development: Open Data, My Data, and Smart Disclosure

This essay lays out three policy trends related to data: open data, My Data, and smart disclosure. The essay provides real-world examples of how community groups are taking advantage of these trends and includes practical steps groups can take to start harnessing open data, My Data, and smart disclosure to support families and strengthen communities.

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In Brief: Can Data From Nonprofit Hospital Tax Returns Improve Community Health?

Nonprofit hospitals play a key role in improving the overall health of their communities. This essay summarizes the current status of community benefit allocations recently made available through new IRS reporting.


The Youth Sector: Supporting Cross-Institutional Community Collaboration Through Shared Data

This essay examines possibilities for using shared data systems to support and sustain youth sector collaboratives through the experience of the Youth Data Archive (YDA), an initiative of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University.


Data Integration for Social Policy: Challenges and Opportunities

This essay discusses the tension between using linked data sets to inform policy and the privacy and other concerns that emerge from the use of linked data sets.


Affordable Housing as a Platform for Resident Success: Building the Evidence Base

Low-income or disadvantaged people are often isolated in neighborhoods where affordable housing is not aligned with public transportation and where they are disconnected from employment opportunities, child care, education, recreation, health care, and quality food resources. A small number of housing providers are working to reverse these conditions.


In Brief: Data Transparency and Standardization

Ten years ago, community development loan funds, led by Opportunity Finance Network, tasked themselves with increasing transparency, accountability, and standardization in their industry to strengthen performance and attract increased capital.


The Transformative Power of Shared Data

There is tremendous power in data; it enables better decision making and wiser resource allocation. […]