Bridging the Equity Gap in Allegheny County: An Exclusive Roll-out of the Equity Intelligence Platform (EIP)

by | September 23, 2022 | News | 0 comments

View a recording of the call here!

 “We want this to be a tool that’s useful in Pittsburgh, and useful at the community level – that’s what this platform is set up to do. We want conditions on the ground to improve. We want lives to move in a positive direction. We want folks to gain agency to thrive… The City of Pittsburgh will become a formal data contributor to this as well so we see exciting things to come in the future where data comes alive, we have the tools to explore it and we are doing so collaboratively.” 

Josiah Gilliam, Special Initiatives Coordinator | City of Pittsburgh | Mayor’s Office

What is the Equity Intelligence Platform?

The Equity Intelligence Platform (EIP) is an open-source tool that will enable local policy and program managers, community-based organizations, and provider agencies with the ability to measure and track progress in improving outcomes for residents of the communities they serve, with attention to overcoming disparities experienced by residents based on race, age, and gender. By enabling data-sharing capabilities within and among programs, EIP provides actionable data that can reduce disparities and enhance the well-being of residents of our communities.

The EIP organizes and presents localized data in a user-friendly way that supports policy and systemic change, and increases accountability. The platform and its dashboard enable policymakers, community leaders, and individual practitioners to access actionable community-driven data, create, and collaborate to improve quality of life and equitable outcomes. The four major topics for the EIP are Economic Mobility, Education, Health and Community Safety, supported by 14 equity data indicators.

How did we get here?

EIP is a groundbreaking pilot project of Bloomberg Associates (housed under Bloomberg Philanthropies), representing former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charitable arm. The project is a collaborative partnership effort born out of key learnings derived by Bloomberg Associates as a strategic advisor to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative in 2014. The major takeaway from the MBK onboarding and reporting process was the lack of data collection and integration infrastructure across city systems. As a result, these cities simply did not have a functional way to access and leverage data in ways that would help facilitate systemic policy change on the ground.

Working in collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh, and the Mayor’s Office, Bloomberg Associates selected Allegheny County along with Harris County in Houston as the initial two-city cohort to launch the EIP pilot. In order to create a functional platform that informs, empowers, and is truly equitable, the call for solutions is out for policymakers, practitioners, local leaders, and the community-at-large to take an equitable stake in building efficacy. While initially focused on improving life outcomes for young men of color, the project vision is to bring data alive and improve outcomes for all residents (disaggregated across race, age, and gender).

But where is this work going?

As the project rolls out to more partner cities, this clear and useful data tool and platform will be able to be accessed by any jurisdiction wanting to use it and will also be locally owned and controlled exclusively by that jurisdiction, ensuring privacy and making it highly functional and applicable toward real-time, geo (place-based) solutions by zip code. The Allegheny County Department of Human Services is the initial driver and chief data source agency for the EIP rollout along with additional data partners including the Office of Behavioral Health, Adult Probation Office and Jail Systems, Medical examiner’s office, and the Penn Hills school district.

The core value of the EIP platform rests upon its user-friendly interface, attractive visualization, and presentation of real-time data against features that allow for customization and collaboration (with cross-tab functionality, custom filters, and seamless integration) across the dashboard. Ultimately, key stakeholders will be utilizing and sharing the same equity data set and operating from a consistent playbook that drives policy change, highlights disparities, and promotes equity throughout complex, interdependent systems.

Can I become part of the solution?

As the EIP platform is still in the early stage, and rolling out in Allegheny County, now is the perfect time to have your voice heard and get engaged in the process of shaping, molding, and making this tool as functional and effective as possible to help address the gross inequities our city and county are challenged with. Just this week, it was reported that 1 in 5 Pittsburgh residents lived in poverty in 2021. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the city’s poverty rate was almost 8 percent higher than the national average.

As you begin to interface with the platform, look for unique ways to convene, collaborate and share data in support of current programs or, perhaps, enhance your Management Assistance Grant (MAG). Let’s mobilize ourselves to bridge the gap from a human-centered approach. Our presenters are already engaged in kitchen table conversations with GPNP members and the BEC to extract value and meaningful contributions to the EIP platform. Bring your front-row perspective to the table!

Begin exploring features on the dashboard to customize your experience with My EIP. Create your user profile, or start a group. Invite a colleague, strategic partner, or consultant to join your team and consider creating a pilot within the pilot phase that addresses place-based challenges and opportunities to leverage specific equity data indicators that improve outcomes in a specific area.

Look for upcoming opportunities in the coming weeks to continue the conversation around the best utilization of the EIP platform to participate in train the trainer sessions to go deeper into the platform and functionality as it goes live over the next several months. We have a unique position to provide feedback and pave the way to equity for other cities into 2023 and beyond!

As our presenters Josiah Gilliam and Garrett Richardson, Project Manager for Bloomberg Associates suggested, we are still early in the process and there is much improvement to be made upon this solid foundation. It’s a strong start, and a focused effort, so just imagine where this vision will lead in the next five to ten years. Our city and this effort require passionate, committed people who want to be collaborative and part of the solution to get involved. We’ve barely scratched the surface, so deep dive with us!

Start Your EIP User Journey Today!

  • CLICK HERE to access the EIP platform.
  • CLICK HERE to check out the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) which is a data-informed and equity-driven collaboration applying data science to student outcomes and career readiness.
  • Please fill out the digital feedback form HERE.
  • Reach out, share feedback or schedule a one-on-one demo or discussion with the principals:
    • grichardson@bloomberg.org
    • josiah.gilliam@pittsburghpa.gov
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