Panel Paper: Integrating Data to Strengthen TANF

Thursday, November 8, 2018
8224 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Adelia Jenkins, University of Pennsylvania

Administrative data—collected as a regular part of program operations—may seem like a straightforward source of actionable information. Yet, these data often do not meet their full potential to improve service delivery and build evidence of effective services for children and families. Information that is collected to meet the needs of a single program might never be linked with datasets or analyzed in context to build evidence or answer important policy and research questions. When administrative data sharing and data linkage is done safely and legally, it becomes a powerful tool to inform policy and practice. An integrated data system is designed to do just that; it provides the governance process, legal framework, technology, and human capacity to safely link administrative data across multiple agencies to monitor and track how services are being used and to what effect.

With the help of a federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant and our partners at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania currently supports 15 states and counties in developing the human and technical capacity to link administrative data across agencies for better research and evaluation. AISP’s 18-month training and technical assistance program and peer-to-peer learning community addresses common challenges with partnership building, data governance, legal agreements, secure technology, staffing, and sustainability. On this panel, AISP will share lessons learned from our prior training and field-building work and discuss opportunities to tailor future TDI TA on data sharing and integration to the unique needs of TANF agencies. As part of TDI, AISP will train states on how to integrate data. They will help the project to build a learning community which will encourage peer learning and sharing.

In this presentation, Adelia Jenkins will discuss the innovative approach to data integration and community building that AISP will build on for the TDI project.