1) Sept 2 -- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on behalf of the Subcommittee on Equitable Data of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), requests information on how Federal agencies can better support collaboration with other levels of government, civil society, and the research community around the production and use of equitable data. This RFI will support Federal equitable data efforts described in the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (E.O. 13985), including the Vision for Equitable Data issued to the President in April 2022 (https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2022/04/22/the-release-of-the-equitable-data-working-group-report/
). Interested persons and organizations are invited to submit comments on or before 5 p.m. ET, October 3, 2022.
As part of the President's Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (E.O. 13985), the Administration convened a Federal Equitable Data Working Group to study existing Federal data collection policies, programs, and infrastructure to identify inadequacies and provide recommendations that lay out a strategy for increasing data available for measuring equity and representing the diversity of the American people.
In its final report in April 2022—Vision for Equitable Data—the Equitable Data Working Group emphasized the need for the Federal government to use equitable data to (1) encourage diverse collaborations across levels of government, civil society, and the research community and (2) be accountable to the American public.
By equitable data, we mean data that allow for rigorous assessment of the extent to which government programs and policies yield consistently fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including those who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. Equitable data can illuminate opportunities for targeted actions that will result in demonstrably improved outcomes for underserved communities. One key characteristic of equitable data is that it is disaggregated by demographic information (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, language spoken, etc.), geographic information (e.g., rural/urban), or other variables, enabling insights on disparities in access to, and outcomes from, government programs, policies, and services.
Durable, equitable data infrastructure requires fostering collaborations across all levels of government, as well as with a diverse community of external organizations to advance outcomes for underserved communities. Constructing such infrastructure will likely require new incentives and pathways, including to ensure greater data sharing and capacity building across different levels of government and to broaden the research community involved in producing and analyzing equitable data.
Furthermore, providing tools that allow civil society organizations and communities to use and visualize Federal data and chart government's progress toward equitable outcomes is crucial for strengthening accountability and credibility with the American public. Such tools can encourage community participation in government equity efforts, but these tools must be designed and administered in ways that meet community members where they are in terms of data analysis capacity and resources. These tools should ideally enable members of the public to easily find meaningful and actionable data about the well-being of their communities and the services provided to them.
In this notice, the White House OSTP is providing an opportunity for members of the public to provide perspectives on how to best to encourage collaborations between the Federal government and (a) state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments; (b) researchers and research institutions; and (c) local communities that facilitate producing, accessing, and using equitable data.
Responses to this Request for Information (RFI) will be used to inform the development of case studies, best practices, and new strategies for Federal agencies, including establishing:
(1) mutually beneficial collaborations between Federal agencies and other levels of government, civil society, and the research community around the production and use of equitable data, and
(2) tools that allow civil society organizations and communities to use and visualize Federal data and chart government's progress toward equitable outcomes in order to strengthen accountability and credibility.
Responses to this RFI will also inform development of the United States' Open Government Partnership National Action Plan that furthers the principles of open government.
We invite members of the public to share perspectives on how the Federal government can better realize the objectives of collaboration between all levels of government, engagement of communities that access or participate in Federal programs in data collection and research, and create broader public access to equitable data. Responses may help inform the development of case studies, best practices, strategies, plans, and other tools for Federal agencies to pursue equitable data partnerships and collaboration, including Federal government plans around open government.
OSTP seeks responses to one, some, or all of the following questions:
1. What are examples of successful collaborations involving equitable data between the Federal government and (a) Tribal, territorial, local, and State governments, or (b) local communities?
2. Among examples of existing Federal collaborations with (a) Tribal, territorial, local, and State governments or (b) local communities involving equitable data, what lessons or best practices have been learned from such collaborations?
3. What resources, programs, training, or other tools can facilitate increased data sharing between different levels of government (Tribal, territorial, local, State, or Federal) related to equitable data?
4. What resources, programs, training, or other tools can expand opportunities for historically underrepresented scholars and research institutions to access and use equitable data across levels of government?
5. What resources, programs, training, or tools can increase opportunities for community-based organizations to use equitable data to hold government accountable to the American public?
6. What resources, programs, training, or tools can make equitable data more accessible and useable for members of the public?
7. In which agencies, programs, regions, or communities are there unmet needs, broken processes, or problems related to participation and accountability that could be remedied through stronger collaborations and transparency around equitable data?
2) Sept 6 -- Advancing Equity with Community Data Partnerships: We Need to Hear from You (OSTP Blog)
How can we provide more transparency on whether the communities that need Federal funds are receiving support? How can we empower low-income communities with the same knowledge as their wealthier neighbors to know whether their water is clean and safe to drink? How can government agencies use information on consumer complaints to better protect populations that are often targets of financial scams? And how can state governments and the Federal government share data on unemployment insurance to reduce obstacles workers with disabilities might encounter when applying for benefits?
The answers to these questions all require better access to data. In particular, they require access to information that comes not just from the Federal government, but from state and local governments and local communities. That’s why, as part of the President’s commitment to advancing equity for underserved communities, the Federal government launched a whole-of-government approach to improving access to equitable data. By equitable data, we mean data that can indicate how well government programs and policies serve different populations. In turn, that data can help to reveal existing barriers to more equitable social and economic outcomes for all Americans, including communities that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in all aspects of economic, social, and civic life.
To realize this vision, the Federal government needs to build stronger collaborations and relationships with state and local governments, local communities, and researchers. These collaborations can expand access to more data and build capacity in local communities to use data to hold government accountable for equitable outcomes. But we need your ideas and perspectives.
Through a public request for information over the next 30 days, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget are working together to seek input on how the Federal government can encourage equitable data collaborations between different levels of government, with communities and grassroots organizations, and with a broader range of researchers who have not worked with the Federal government before. . . .