Strategic Practices


“Narrative” and “Vehicle”: Using Evidence to Inform Policy

“Wherever possible, we should design new initiatives to build rigorous data about what works and […]


In Brief: Sustaining Data Culture Within Local Government

This personal narrative explores the author's time in the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing, and her on-the-ground experience with data and reporting in city government.


Evaluating Social Determinants of Health in Community Development Projects

We know the all-too-familiar statistics—despite the United States spending almost twice as much as other […]


Using Data to Drive Change in Complex Community Systems

This essayillustrates a set of measurement principles and approaches that have helped service providers and community residents better understand and respond to the complexity inherent in community change.


The Role of Data and Measurement in Impact Investing: How Do You Know if You’re Making a Difference?

At best, data help us predict the future and understand the past. At worst, they […]


Strengthening Community Development: A Call for Investment in Information Infrastructure

This essay shares lessons from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s investments in community development efforts in Chicago and information infrastructure nationally, and offers recommendations for foundations interested in supporting the evolution of a more informed and effective community development field.