Empowering the Public and Nonprofit Sectors with Data and Technology

Report by Kathryn L.S. Pettit, Maia Woluchem
June 1, 2017

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

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.


This brief is part of the Expanding Training on Data and Technology to Improve Communities project, launched by the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and Microsoft's Civic Technology Engagement Group to explore community training on data and technology. Other products include a guide with advice on how to assess local needs, develop training content, and fund these efforts; a catalog of trainings from across the country; and a summary of current training content and practices from our survey.