November 2016 ISC Newsletter

Meeting of ISC data partners in August 2016. Photo: Amy Hawn Nelson


Reports using ISC data

We highlight recent research that utilizes data from the ISC Community Database.



ISC out and about

While we love numbers and analyzing data, we also love being a part of the community. Check out how we have recently been active and where you might spot us next.


Integrated data systems research spotlight, and data in the news

We spotlight research from across the country utilizing integrated data systems and other novel data methods and analyses.


Grant opportunities

We identify (and direct you to) current and future grant opportunities for researchers interested in social data.



ISC out and about

On Aug. 25, ISC’s data partners gathered at the Children and Family Services Center to discuss the strengths and challenges associated with being an ISC data partner. Potential solutions and partnership opportunities were addressed and explored during this meeting. Ideas about what would help facilitate collaborations across ISC data partners and valuable input pertaining to ISC research priorities were also provided. 

Data Partners exchange thoughts and provide feedback at the ISC data partner meeting in August 2016. Photo: Amy Hawn Nelson
ISC Director Amy Hawn Nelson at the UNC Charlotte Academic Affairs Awards Reception honoring Provost Joan Lorden. The provost received the 2016 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award from the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and the William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement.

Reports using ISC data

Title: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Point in Time Count Report, 2009-2016

Research team: Ashley Clark, data and research coordinator, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; Justin Lane, social research specialist, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Project description: UNC Charlotte Urban Institute researchers used de-identified administrative data from the Institute for Social Capital Community Database to describe the population of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Point in Time Count Report is one of four reports in the Mecklenburg County Homelessness and Housing Report series. Download the full report.  


Title: Program Evaluation: McClintock Partners in Education, 2007-2015

Research team: Diane Gavarkavich, director of research services, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; Lauren Zachary, social research analyst; Amy Hawn Nelson, director of Institute for Social Capital

Project description: The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute researchers used the Institute for Social Capital Community Database to understand the impact the nonprofit McClintock Partners in Education outreach program has on student outcomes. Students were matched to their Charlotte-Mecklenburg School and Department of Social Services administrative records. The evaluation used both quantitative and qualitative data to analyze students’ academic, attendance and behavioral outcomes. A comparison group provided the evaluation with further context. Click here to read the full report. 

New data deposits

ISC continues to expand its data deposits and sign new data sharing agreements with community partners.  Over the next few months these data will be added to the ISC Codebook:

  • Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, July 2016
  • Freedom School Partners, March 2016

IDS research spotlight

  • Young Men’s Initiative Disparity Report – Researchers from the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) of New York City used citywide agency data to understand the racial disparities existing among young men and young women in New York City. The report looks at outcomes across several domains: education, economic security and mobility, health and well-being, and personal and community safety. The report finds that disparities remain among racial, ethnic and gender groups but several outcomes have seen significant decreases in disparity for young men and women of color. Click here to read the report.
  • Impacts of Permanent Supportive Housing Services – The Research and Data Analysis Division of Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services used service data from its Integrated Client Databases to evaluate the Permanent Options for Recovery-Centered Housing Program, also known as PORCH, in two counties. The evaluation examines the outcomes of PORCH participants during a one-year follow-up period, comparing them to a similar group of clients. The findings show that several outcomes improved, including fewer homeless episodes and a decrease in hospital stays and arrests, while employment rates and earnings remained low for both PORCH clients and the comparison group. Click here to read the full report.


Data in the news

  • Can big data save these children? – In the past decade, Allegheny County, Pa., has seen a large decline in the number of children in foster care. This article discusses data and its role in improving Alleghany County’s foster care system.
  • Using administrative data for randomized evaluations – J-PAL North America outlines ways to obtain and use nonpublic administrative data for research and impact evaluations.
  • Behavior studies give clues to what makes federal programs work or not – In this article, federal agencies share findings from behavioral and social science research that were used to learn more about disadvantaged students’ service and program utilization.
  • Launching the Data-Driven Justice Initiative – The Obama administration is launching the Data-Driven Justice Initiative to decrease the number of low-risk offenders with mental illness in the criminal justice system. This article outlines data-driven strategies that have proven effective in achieving this aim.
  • The new Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking – The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, a bipartisan group of experts, met for the first time to examine ways to improve the accessibility of government data and data security. This article outlines the commission’s priorities and its next steps.
  • Connecting the dots: Data use in afterschool systems – Nine cities around the country are participating in the Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. This initiative focuses on strengthening data systems to inform and improve afterschool programs that serve low-income youth. This report highlights early findings from the multi-year effort.
  • People and place matter when addressing chronic absenteeism – This article discusses the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) and their collaboration with local organizations to increase access to integrated data systems and inform policy issues such as chronic absenteeism.
  • Student data privacy and education research must be balanced – This article addresses the need for a balance between data accessibility and student privacy protections in education research and policy.

Grant opportunities



Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Online application  Feb. 5, 2017


Focus areas: community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity, strengthening democracy

Duke Energy Foundation Online application  Rolling


Focus areas: environment, economic development, education, community vitality

Mentor Graphics Foundation Application  Feb. 28, 2017


Focus areas: education, culture and arts, health and human services

Woodward Fund Online application  April 1, 2017


Focus areas: arts, culture, and humanities; education; environment, animals; health; human services; international/foreign affairs; public/society benefits; religion

Duke Endowment Online application  Dec. 15, 2016


Focus areas: prevention and early intervention for at-risk-children, out-of-home care

Robert E. and Evelyn McKee Foundation RFP  Dec. 15, 2016


Focus areas: civic, cultural and religion; education, literature and science; hospitals; rehabilitation and welfare; youth activities; community funds

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation LOI  Rolling


The foundation undertakes special initiatives with broad implications for domestic policy. Projects address economic, social, and demographic trends in U.S. society and more data- and evidence-driven policymaking, and a fourth is a new research network focused on opening governance. 

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

RFP  April 15, 2017


SSEP awards support career-oriented and practical programs intended to provide creative science enrichment activities for students in K-12 education 

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Online application  Feb. 9, 2017


The trust will accept applications in all four of the health care division's issue areas: access to primary care, community centered prevention, diabetes, and behavioral health

Laura and John Arnold Foundation RFP  Dec. 15, 2016


Request for Proposals (RFP) to conduct low-cost randomized controlled trials in any area of domestic social policy