NNIP Guidelines for Partner Organizations Working in Other NNIP Cities

Last Updated: August 07, 2017

The core principle of NNIP is that local institutions with a long-term stake in their community are the best homes for local data intermediary services. Though NNIP Partner organizations are not typically in competition with each other, from time to time, NNIP Partners' successful work locally or their institutions' national missions attract attention from foundations and organizations located in other cities, states, and regions. Local or national stakeholders may ask individual NNIP Partner organizations specifically to provide advice or solicit help on a new project in an outside city, or release a request for proposals open to out-of-town bidders. Since Partners are independent organizations, the network does not restrict or prohibit them from conducting work in other cities. We also recognize that Partners have different specialized skills and services from which other places could benefit.

However, out of respect for fellow NNIP Partner organizations and in the spirit of the NNIP model, we have developed these guidelines for engaging in a place where there is an existing NNIP Partner:

  • If it is a conversation about another NNIP Partner city, please mention your common NNIP affiliation and the local Partner organization.
  • Reach out to the local NNIP Partner to let them know about the situation if at all possible. This is a chance to learn more about the relationship between the Partner organization and the institution making the inquiry, as well as the capacity/interest of the Partner in the type of work in question
  • If the local NNIP Partner does have the capacity and expertise to take on new potential work, consider suggesting to the inquiring institution both that a local organization such as the Partner organization might be better suited to the work and it would also contribute to local capacity building.
  • If the local NNIP Partner has some or only limited capacity to take on the work, be open to opportunities that could bring benefits to both Partners. This could be giving the local Partner the opportunity to review drafts, invitations to present or participate in the public or advisory meetings, or formal, compensated roles in the project.
  • Some NNIP Partners undertake national research projects that involve mulitple cities, like scans of policy issues or in-depth comparative case studies.  While not directly related to local data intermediary functions, NNIP Partners often have substantive expertise or relevant contacts that could be useful to you. We ask that you advise them of these kinds of projects, but understand it may not be feasible in large scale projets.
  • Keep the local NNIP Partner in the loop about progress and any final reports or events that may occur. Advance notice about public releases or events will always be appreciated.
  • These guidelines would also apply to NNIP Partners who are approached to do work in another state with one or more NNIP Partners. As a courtesy, please consider communicating and engaging with the local NNIP Partner(s) as described above.
  • If your organization is based in a state or region with multiple NNIP Partners, it’s even more important to communicate regularly about your work, in order to learn from each other and to look for opportunities to partner where it makes sense (for example on a data request to a state agency). Please consider the approaches described above.


NNIP HQ staff do not have to be involved, but are happy to help along the way however we can.  In all cases, we would appreciate learning early about any joint work in the network so we can share positive examples, and include these connections as “extra credit” in the Participation Reports or as background for potential Steward Award nominations.

Examples of NNIP Partners Working Together

  • Our Pittsburgh partner hired DataSpark in Providence to adapt their Rhode Island Community Profiles for Southwestern Pennslyvania.
  • NeighorhoodInfo DC provided parcel-level data on foreclosures for Furman Center to use for a multi-city research project.
  • More to come... to share examples, email nnip@urban.org


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