Expanding Training on Data and Technology to Improve Communities

Funder: Microsoft Civic Technology Engagement
Contact: Kathryn Pettit [email protected]
Date: April 2016 - August 2017

Civic Tech and Data Training

Local government and nonprofit staff need data and technology skills to regularly monitor local conditions and design programs that achieve more effective outcomes. Tailored training is essential to help them gain the knowledge and confidence to leverage these indispensable tools. A recent survey of organizations that provide data and technology training documented current practices and how such training should be expanded. Four recommendations are provided to assist government agencies, elected leaders, nonprofit executives, and local funders in empowering workers with the necessary training to use data and technology to benefit their communities. Specifically, community stakeholders should collectively work to

  • expand the training available to government and nonprofit staff;
  • foster opportunities for sharing training materials and lessons;
  • identify allies who can enhance and support local training efforts;
  • and assess the local landscape of data and technology training.


Project Products

  • Brief: A summary of the current training landscape and key action steps for various sectors to ensure that local government and nonprofit staff have the data and technology skills needed for their civic missions.
  • Guide: A document for organizations interested in providing community data and technology training, including advice on how to assess local needs, develop training content, and fund these efforts.
  • Catalog: Example training descriptions and related materials collected from various cities for local adaptation.
  • Fact sheet: A summary of results from a survey on current training content and practices


Partner Blogs


Study Background

In Spring 2016, the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) and Microsoft’s Civic Technology Engagement Group launched a project to explore and expand community training on data and technology for government and nonprofit staff members. To understand the current landscape of data and technology training, the project included a survey of 32 local NNIP partners and 5 other organizations and conducted a pilot training of trainers with participation from 22 cities. The results of the survey, the pilot and the other insights from the field are synthesized into the above products.

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See all NNIP items related to the issues:
Civic engagement

Participating Partners:

Urban Institute