Centering Racial Equity in Data Use

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

August 2020

Researchers and data analysts are taught to protect research subjects in primary data collection, but data can be used to harm people and communities beyond that stage of the data life cycle. Collection and reuse of administrative data and/or secondary data sources like the American Community Survey are too often used to label and disadvantage communities of color and people with low incomes. As researchers, analysts, and advocates using administrative or secondary data, think critically about these risks and seek to develop frameworks and practices that mitigate harm. We must be intentional about the ways we collect and use data, involve the communities we are describing in our research, and aim to benefit those communities. Our conversation will elevate findings from two documents produced by Urban and AISP that can help researchers, analysts, and advocates work toward implementing equitable data practices that center the needs of people and communities.