Expanding Training on Data and Technology to Improve Communities


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. In Spring 2016, the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) and Microsoft’s Civic Technology Engagement Group partnered to explore how to expand community training on data and technology for government and nonprofit staff members.

Based on insights from the field, the authors offer four recommendations 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.

The project offers a new set of resources to help promote the expansion of training to a variety of local actors.

  • Brief: A summary of the current training landscape and key action steps 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 materials collected from various cities for local adaptation.
  • Fact sheet: A summary of results from a survey on current training content and practices.