In collaboration with the Cooperative Extension Systems (CES), data-informed insights are being developed for communities in Virginia, Iowa, and Oregon. These insights focus on characterizing, and capturing barriers to, economic mobility in the community. We intend for these data insights to be used to identify areas of concern and promise in each community, and to guide local CES professionals in developing programs and activities that advance economic mobility.
Our community insights leverage the Community Capitals Framework co-developed by CES faculty and used throughout the CES network to assess and understand communities, including rural areas. This framework is an asset-based approach to community change and resilience by identifying and investing in community resources to grow capital in seven key areas: financial, human, social, political, cultural, built, and natural.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to determining which community capital should be developed to aid resilience and recovery. It depends on the unique strengths and needs of a community.
Our Economic Mobility Data Infrastructure extends the Community Capitals Framework by infusing the seven capitals with a data science core. This approach supports a quantitative assessment for each capital area across multiple locales to promote economic mobility and drive community success.
Our Economic Mobility Data Infrastructure is being designed to accelerate the Community Learning through Data Driven Discovery (CLD3) process and support cooperative extension professionals in coordinating with their stakeholders to develop investment strategies, new programs, and identify underutilized community assets to help communities target resources to underserved populations, measure impact, and bolster legislative support.