ISC Newsletter March 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Angelique Gaines


ISC out and about

While we love numbers and analyzing data, we also love being a part of the community. Check out how we have recently been active and where you might spot us next.



Reports using ISC data

We highlight recent research that utilizes data from the ISC Community Database.



Integrated data systems research spotlight, and data in the news

We spotlight research from across the country utilizing integrated data systems and other novel data methods and analyses.



Grant opportunities

We identify (and direct you to) current and future grant opportunities for researchers interested in social data.



ISC out and about

UNC Charlotte Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Joan Lorden has received the prestigious Woman of the Year Award for Civic Leadership and Service. This award honors the provost for her exceptional service and leadership in Charlotte. Provost Lorden is on the Institute for Social Capital’s board of directors. To read more about Charlotte’s Woman of the Year please click here:

UNC Charlotte Provost and ISC board member Joan Lorden receives the 2016 Charlotte Woman of the Year Award for Civic Leadership and Service.


On the morning of Thursday, Jan. 26, ISC team members participated in the unsheltered count portion of the annual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Point-in-Time Count. The Point-in-Time Count seeks to identify individuals that experienced sheltered or unsheltered homelessness on one night (Wednesday, Jan. 25). To read more about the Point-in-Time count please click here: 

ISC staff members (from left) Ashley Clark, Justin Lane and Angelique Gaines meet early Thursday, Jan. 26 before hitting the streets to identify individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness for the annual Point-in-Time Count.


The ISC team gathers for its annual group photo. From left to right: Maryam Tavakoli (assistant data wrangler), Diane Gavarkavich (assistant maven), Ida Stavenger (data sharing deliberation expert), Angelique Gaines (data license logistics expert), Amy Hawn Nelson (lead data nerd and hoarder), Justin Lane (data wizard), Ashley Williams Clark (lead data guru), David Hill (lead data wrangler).


 ISC welcomes the newest team member, Emory Hawn Nelson.


Reports using ISC data

Title: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Family Homelessness Snapshot, 2014-2015

Research team: Ashley Clark, data and research coordinator, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; Justin Lane, social research specialist, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; Angelique Marcus Gaines, research assistant, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Project description: UNC Charlotte Urban Institute researchers used de-identified administrative data from the Institute for Social Capital Community Database to describe families experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The report integrates data from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to better understand students experiencing homelessness and housing instability.  The Family Homelessness Report is one of four reports in the Mecklenburg County Homelessness and Housing Report series. Download the full report

New data deposits

ISC continues to increase its data deposits and sign new data sharing agreements with community partners.  Over the next few months these data will be added to the ISC Codebook.  Here is a list of updated data deposits:

  • Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, 2016 data
  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, data now available from 2003-2016
  • Mecklenburg County Support Services Veterans Services Division, data now available from 2007-2016
  • Homeless Management Information System, data now available from 2004- Sept. 2016
  • Communities in Schools, data now available from 2001-2016
  • YMCA, data now available from 2012-2016

IDS research spotlight

  •  Education and well-being of children in assisted housing programs – Washington State Department of Social & Health Services’ Research and Data Analysis Division used its integrated database to examine the impact housing assistance has on children’s educational outcomes and other measures of well-being. The five-year study closely follows students who had recently entered HUD-assisted housing and compares them to a group of their peers. The findings of the study revealed that assisted housing led to more housing stability and was able to keep children linked to services. 
  • Predicting homelessness among emerging adults aging out of foster care – Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ integrated administrative database was used to examine the relationship between homelessness and individuals aging out of foster care. The study identified several risk factors associated with homelessness as it relates to these individuals. Findings showed that African-American youth and parenting youth who recently experienced housing instability were twice as likely to experience homelessness after leaving foster care. Youth were less likely to experience homelessness if they were placed with relatives anytime while in foster care or had high grade point averages in school. Click here to read the full report.

Learn more about integrated data systems

  • Understanding Actionable Intelligence for social policy – The Actionable Intelligence (AI) model uses integrated data systems to inform dialogue among stakeholders about what social programs work best and are the most cost-efficient.
  • Integrated data systems uses – Integrated data systems link administrative data from multiple agencies with the aim of improving social programs. Three types of projects that use integrated data systems are highlighted: observational studies, predictive analytics, and intervention testing.

Data in the news

  • Integrated data systems and student privacy – The U.S. Department of Education released a guidance document discussing how educational authorities can use integrated data systems for evaluation and research purposes while remaining compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Release of new data policy toolkit – A new data policy toolkit from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign provides information about state policies that can be implemented to strengthen data infrastructure and encourage data use.
  • Toolkit on low-cost randomized controlled trials – Evidence-Based Policymaking Collaborative’s toolkit provides details about what low-cost randomized controlled trials are, how they promote evidence, and how randomized controlled trials can be used with existing data and programs to reduce costs.
  • Integrated administrative data & criminal justice research – This report discusses the potential uses and benefits of utilizing integrated administrative data from criminal justice and social service systems and its implications for criminal justice research.
  • Youth aging out of foster care and criminal justice system involvement – Washington State Department of Social and Health Services pinpoints important risk factors tied to criminal justice involvement among young adults exiting foster care. Integrated administrative data was used to examine these associations.
  • Comments to the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking – The Center for Data Innovation submitted comments concerning data infrastructure and access to the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, a bipartisan group of experts tasked with examining ways to improve accessibility and the security of government data.
  • CMS data on suspensions – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reports new suspension data to the state Board of Education. The data reveals some disparities as pertains to race.
  • Data tool allows city-by-city schooling comparisons A new interactive website provides mayors, school administrators, parents and community advocates with education data for 114 cities. The data tool allows users to compare their city’s graduation rates, per-pupil spending and teacher salaries with other cities in 49 states.
  • Using data to make a difference for students at risk of homelessness Cities like Boston are using data to combat student homelessness given the strong link between housing stability and educational outcomes. 

Grant opportunities




Biddle Foundation




Apr. 25, 2017


Focus areas: arts, youth education, and programs that serve less advantaged populations


Bruner Foundation, Inc.


Online grant application


Dec. 8,  2017


The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) is a national urban design award that seeks to promote thinking as it relates to the built environment. The purpose of the award is to identify places that exemplify design excellence and positively contribute to the urban environment.


Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation


Online grant application


Jan. 23, 2018


Focus areas: community economic development, public education, social justice and equity, environment, and/or strengthening democracy. 


Babcock Foundation






Focus areas: economic development, community development, poverty