Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health
The Challenge: Creating a Comprehensive Data Source and Sharing it with Multiple Audiences
Kidsdata.org, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, promotes the health and well being of children by making a wide variety of data free and easily accessible to policymakers, service providers, grantseekers, media, parents, and others who influence kids’ lives. The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health initially hired i.e. communications to expand the content of their website kidsdata.org. With the goal of providing comprehensive data on child and health well being to inform policy decisions, the foundation needed a consultant that could not only identify, collect, and analyze large sets of data accurately and efficiently, but also organize and share the data in a way that made sense to the general public and policymakers.
The foundation first contracted with i.e. communications in 2005 to collect and analyze a wide array of existing datasets, provide issue area summaries, and research new topics for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. In 2007, kidsdata.org expanded to include other counties in the Bay Area and we continued to provide data collection and analysis services for the foundation. As a result of the overwhelming success of kidsdata.org, in 2009 the foundation expanded the site to offer statewide data.
Since then our role has shifted from collecting the data to supporting the development, expansion, and marketing of kidsdata.org. We provide targeted outreach, issue area analysis, and messaging to share kidsdata.org with key stakeholders and policymakers throughout the state. With our help, kidsdata.org has grown from a site that shared a few dozen indicators for two counties, to its present scope with more than 400 measures of child health and well being for all California counties with data available at the city, school, and legislative district level.
- Data Collection – We collected, calculated, proofed, and updated data from over 30 public sources within approximately 40 topic areas and 250 indicators covering child and youth safety, demographics, children with special health care needs, education and child care, emotional and behavioral health, family economics, and physical health.
- Data Analysis – i.e. analyzed the data, writing concise narratives for each topic that outlined data trends over time and county-level information in an easy-to-read format. These narratives included summaries of data for hundreds of cities and school districts in the Bay Area.
- Topic Research & Development – Based on our research, analysis, and recommendations for new topics and indicators, kidsdata.org expanded to include school readiness, cancer, math proficiency, child care, breastfeeding, school health center, resilience, family structure, and special health care needs data.
- Tailored Reports –We conducted a literature review on how the economic recession and poverty in general affects indicators of children and family health and well-being, including an analysis of recent state budget cuts. Informed by our research, we then examined indicators currently on kidsdata.org to assess the impact of the recession on Southern California counties.
- Policy Background – i.e. provides the foundation with political insight necessary for effective outreach, including updated assessments on the current policy landscape for children’s issues in California and identification of key legislative leaders, advocates, and potential champions of children’s issues.
- Messaging – i.e. provides key data points and messaging recommendations for kidsdata.org data email advisories to more effectively engage state and local-level policymakers and the organizations and individuals who set policy priorities.
- Strategic Outreach – To promote kidsdata.org as a trusted resource amongst policymakers and relevant stakeholders in California, insert kidsdata.org and the foundation in policy dialogue on the health and well-being of children and youth, and increase statewide use of the site, we identify and engage target audiences through interviews, online outreach, and events.
- Event Coordination – We develop and coordinate forums to share kidsdata.org, working closely with policymakers and local collaboratives and organizations to secure credible and relevant co-hosts for the events.
- Policy Resource – Kidsdata.org has become a local and statewide resource for the media, policy makers, and decision makers promoting the health and well-being of children.
- Award-Winning Website – In 2005 and 2006, kidsdata.org was nominated as one of five finalists for a Webby Award – the leading international award for websites – in the Family/Parenting category. Kidsdata.org also won a silver medal from the Council on Foundation’s 2006 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards Program for Excellence in Communications.
- Exponential Increase in Visitors – The number of visitors to kidsdata.org grew by over 1,300% and repeat visitors grew by over 1,000% from 2005 to 2008.
- Expanded Statewide – The overwhelming success of kidsdata.org led the foundation to expand to all California counties, cities, and school districts in the fall of 2009.
- Statewide Recognition and Use of Kidsdata.org – Across California, practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and journalists are using kidsdata.org to get the data they need.