Center on Poverty and Community Development

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Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Applied Social Science, Case Western Reserve University

Joe Andre, Research Associate

Institutional Setting:

The Center on Poverty and Community Development (CPCD) is based in a university context as part of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. The Mandel School strongly emphasizes direct work with local city-wide and community institutions to address the opportunities and problems of poor neighborhoods. The CPCD mission is "to inform and influence thinking, decision making, and social action as it relates to the circumstances facing urban areas and those who reside there.  This is accomplished by an agenda to create, apply, and communicate valuable knowledge to a broad range of audiences concerned with the ultimate goal of reducing urban poverty and its consequences."

CPCD was founded in 1988 with grants from the Cleveland and Rockefeller Foundations (it was one of the latter's Community Planning and Action Projects). Its funders have broadened more recently to include other foundations and agencies, some of whom purchase research products and data services on a contract basis.

The Center's mission statement notes several features: "The Center has adopted a distinctive focus on the neighborhood, the fundamental level at which individuals and families are exposed to the macro-level systemic forces that drive poverty.  The Center’s research shows how place matters and has yielded research tools and applications that are applicable across communities and regions.  By leveraging partnerships with national and international organizations and researchers in other cities, the Center strives to bring community to the forefront in efforts to address poverty and other aspects of disadvantage."

North East Ohio Cleveland Area Network for Data Organizing (NEO CANDO)
CUPCD Director Claudia Coulton began assembling neighborhood-level data soon after the Center was founded. In 1990, the Center issued a full report on trends in Cleveland's neighborhoods over the preceding two decades-a report used as the primary basis for the formation of the Cleveland Poverty Commission. As this and other reports were more widely disseminated, the Center began to receive more requests for data assistance. In response to this demand, the staff developed the CAN DO system.

In its initial form, CAN DO contained neighborhood-level information from the 1990 census and from a variety of administrative data files (information, for the most part, for every year since 1980). In 2001 the interface was updated to use interactive web selections to narrow down the types and regions of data a person may wish to collect, and to dynamically create tables graphs and maps fo the data query using GIS locations.  Additionally property level public data have been added and used by select governmental and non-profit usuers to target assistance and services related to alleviating the foreclosure crisis , and to reduce or prevent neighborhood blight.

Ever expanding, NEO CANDO 2010+ incorporates data from the 2010 Census and American Community Survey. Additional data sources will be added as they become available. It operates faster, provides updated geographies, and enables on-demand mapping using Google maps. Preparation of NEO CANDO 2010+ was completed by the Northeast Ohio Data Collaborative, a unique partnership between Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, and The Center for Community Solutions and made possible by the generous financial support of several local governments and foundations. Another new edition to the suite of applications is the Neighborhood Stabilization Team Web Application, an online, interactive, regularly-updated property data interface developed by the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University in partnership with the City of Cleveland, Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI), the Cuyahoga Land Bank, and Cuyahoga County. The NST Web App focuses exclusively on property and property related data, and presents data at the individual property-level.

Data can be accessed via the Internet through the Center's website at Community groups can thus access and use the database directly. Center staff provide training and technical assistance to help them use it effectively in planning and program development.

Joe Andre
Research Associate
Michael Henderson
Research Associate
Meagan Ray-Novak
Research Associate
Claudia Coulton
Center Co-Director
Robert Fischer
Center Co-Director
Mike Schramm
Research Associate
Mark Chupp
Center Faculty Associate, MSASS Director, East Cleveland Partnership
Sharon Milligan
Center Associate Director
Tsui Chan
Eamon Johnson


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Blog post - By: Francisca García-Cobián Richter, Michael Henderson, Grace Harrison

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January 31, 2022
Report - By: Francisca García-Cobián Richter, Claudia Coulton, Robert Fischer, Nina Lalich, Ashley Hajski

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Report - By: Camille H. Anoll

Urban Institute, Center on Poverty and Community Development, Institute for Urban Policy Research, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, (Inactive) Center for Economic Information*, DataHaven, Urban Health Collaborative, University Center for Social and Urban Research

Read the Brief

Partner Webinars

April 16, 2015 - 1:00pm

In May and August, after partners expressed the desire for more interactions among partners between in-person meetings, we held our first two virtual idea showcases. It gave several partners the... [read more]

Presenters Kathy Pettit, Leah Hendey, Peter Tatian, Beth Anthony, Taryn Gress, Vicki Mack, Clarissa Ozuna
November 16, 2010 - 7:00pm

This webinar features two NNIP partners who are building integrated data systems to support program planning. [read more]

Presenters Claudia Coulton, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western University, Jim Lucht, Providence Plan