||The Data to Policy Project: Using Data to Build More Equitable Communities
||May 9 2019
||The Data to Policy Project (D2P) is an initiative creating meaningful learning experiences for students by using analysis of open data to generate equity and evidence-based policy proposals addressing local community needs. D2P is integrated into credit-bearing courses where students explore issues like policing and affordable housing in the Denver region. Over the course of a semester, students find, cite, clean, analyze, and visualize data to identify gaps or problems in policing or affordable housing, create policy proposals that address what they found, then create a research poster to communicate their findings. We encourage a critical approach to data literacy that questions the objectivity and neutrality of data and situate it in a socio-political context. The project culminates in a D2P Symposium where students present their research to their peers, faculty, staff, and community members. By focusing on student-initiated concerns and using real data to try and address them, D2P forms a connection between the courses students take and the communities they live in, increasing its meaning and impact. We also partner with local community organizations, governments, and nonprofits to identify and frame the research questions students explore. Our goal is to intentionally include community voices so that the research we work on is relevant, context-specific, and in the interest of the community it will impact. This presentation will communicate the challenges and benefits of this kind of work, how it can be replicated in other contexts, and invite feedback on how to improve the project.