Improving Communities through Integrated Data Systems: Understanding Civic Engagement

(Inactive) The Providence Plan   (Providence*)

June 2013 - December 2015

The Providence Plan (ProvPlan) is studying neighborhood civic engagement levels and their relation to such factors as education, health, and workforce participation. ProvPlan will examine various levels of civic engagement from participation in AmeriCorps to neighborhood voting levels. The project seeks to understand the specific neighborhood and individual factors that drive engagement, how past experiences with civic engagement influence future engagement, and whether or not engagement is concentrated in specific neighborhoods. 

Existing data from ProvPlan’s IDS, the RI DataHUB, will be linked at the individual-level to historic voting records from the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Office and AmeriCorps data provided by ServeRI, the state administrator of AmeriCorps programs funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. ProvPlan’s DataHUB currently includes individual-level data on education, health, child welfare, wage levels, and workforce development. Voting records from the previous eight elections include data on age, gender, political party, and voting status for each election. AmeriCorps data from ServeRI includes over a decade of AmeriCorps service data and the results of a recent follow-up survey of past members. Additionally, ProvPlan is currently investigating the inclusion of other volunteer databases available from ServeRI.

ProvPlan is in the process of engaging Rhode Island Campus Compact (RICC) as a partner in the project. RICC aims to strengthen civic engagement at colleges and universities and manages a Civic Engagement Network to provide resources to civic engagement professionals on member campuses around the state. The results of the proposed research will allow RICC to better advise members on strategies to encourage civic engagement.