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GovEx Data Points

A podcast about government and data. Telling stories from practitioners and academics about how data affects communities and the lives of residents.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Data Points Podcast Episode 56 - What is a Smart City?

Being a Smart City is a new hot goal for cities. From Singapore to Amsterdam and anywhere in between, cities are trying to become smarter and implementing projects that include "smart city" components. But what does it mean? What makes a city smart and what components make a project relevant for smart cities? Because of the variety of concepts and definitions (check out the Wikipedia page for a long list of possibilities) we take a deeper look at Smart Cities in this episode. Along with our guest and friend of the podcast, GovEx's Director of Applied Research Katherine Klosek, we discuss how GovEx defines smart cities, how to make residents and their needs a central piece of smart cities strategy, and several examples of Smart Cities implementation in the US from Colorado Springs, CO, Louisville, KY, and Columbus, OH. If you want to learn more or are interested in getting started implementing a Smart Cities strategy, check out GovEx's Smart Cities Guide and get in touch with us at govex@jhu.edu if you have any further questions. Like Data? Listen and Get in Touch Look for us on iTunes or Google as GovEx Data Points Find up-to-date episodes on our website Get in touch with us and let us know what you want to hear, suggest potential episodes, and give us feedback on how the podcast is going. You can contact us on Twitter at Gov_Ex or reach out via our website at govex.jhu.edu/contact.

19 Jun 2018

Rank #1

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Data Points Podcast Episode 55 - Creating Racial Equity in Grand Rapids

Racial equity is a challenge cities across America are grappling with on a daily basis. In this episode, we will take a deep dive into the innovative and data-driven approach which Grand Rapids, Michigan is taking to meet this complex issue head on. Over the past six months, GovEx, through What Works Cities, has been supporting Grand Rapids' efforts to increase racial equity by improving data management practices and bringing data and evidence into the decision-making process, and bettering the connection with residents and their quality of life. As a part of our collective effort, the City has launched its Housing NOW! dashboard to which allows everyone a clear view of the data collected and analyzed by Grand Rapids to "inform decision-making and dialogue so that [the City is] able to understand [its] community needs and how best to meet them." We are joined by Alex Melton who is the Customer Service Community Liaison for Grand Rapids and Zac Thiel, the City’s Digital and Data Strategist. They are apart of Grand Rapids 311 Customer Service team, which is led by Becky Jo Glover. Like Data? Listen and Get in Touch You can find updates to the podcast in several ways. Look for us on iTunes as GovEx Data Points Find up-to-date episodes on our website at http://govex.jhu.edu/podcast Get in touch with us and let us know what you want to hear, suggest potential episodes, and give us feedback on how the podcast is going. You can contact us on Twitter at Gov_Ex or reach out via our website at govex.jhu.edu/contact.

29 May 2018

Rank #2

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Data Points Podcast Episode 54 - Tactical Data Use with Sunlight

Enabling more use of public data is a key challenge for cities across the country. This week, we will be talking with our partners from the Sunlight Foundation about their efforts to improve Tactical Data Engagement. For this episode, we’re joined by Stephen Larrick, Open Cities Director at Sunlight. Stephen leads all city-focused work for Sunlight, including work we've done together on open data through the What Works Cities Initiative. Sunlight's recent work has focused increasingly on putting city data to use. To do that, they have piloted a technique called Tactical Data Engagement. Madison, WI, was one of their pilot sites and through a focus on equitable neighborhoods they were able to build user personas and a public data use toolkit for residents to use. Many cities are also interested in this work and through a recent workshop, Sunlight and cities were able to generate 39 fresh ideas for community use of open data for cities across the country to use. Like Data? Listen and Get in Touch You can find updates to the podcast in several ways. Look for us on iTunes as GovEx Data Points Find up-to-date episodes on our website at http://govex.jhu.edu/podcast Get in touch with us and let us know what you want to hear, suggest potential episodes, and give us feedback on how the podcast is going. You can contact us on Twitter at Gov_Ex or reach out via our website at govex.jhu.edu/contact.

30 Apr 2018

Rank #3

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Data Points Podcast Episode 58 - Counties and Data

At GovEx, a lot of our work is focused on cities. But counties play a crucial role in using data to improve public outcomes as well. From health to elections and justice programming, counties provide critical services to people across the US. To explore these often overlooked stakeholders in government data work, we are diving deep through a conversation with two represenatives from NACo, the National Assocation of Counties. In this episode, we talked with Natalie Ortiz and Kathy Rowings about the work of NACo connecting counties together, their work on Data-Driven Justice, and how they use data themselves to advance better public outcomes across all sorts of counties from urban to rural and everywhere in between. If you are interested in learning more about how counties use data, get in touch with us at govex@jhu.edu and we are happy to discuss. Like Data? Listen and Get in Touch Look for us on iTunes or Google as GovEx Data Points Find up-to-date episodes on our website Get in touch with us and let us know what you want to hear, suggest potential episodes, and give us feedback on how the podcast is going. You can contact us on Twitter at Gov_Ex or reach out via our website at govex.jhu.edu/contact.

16 Oct 2018

Rank #4

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Data Points Episode #60 - Food Insecurity & Teens

During the holidays, food drives and charitable giving campaigns raise awareness of food insecurity, but people experience disruptions in access to healthy food year round. New research by Dr. Kristin Mmari and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Public Health reveals that some adolescents engage in risky behavior to get access to food or money to buy food. In this Data Points episode, our GovEx Director of Applied Research discusses these findings with Dr. Mmari and Anushka Jajodia, a Social Design Fellow from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Together with researchers from the JHU Department of Civil Engineering, this team is taking a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding and mapping systemic barriers to food access, and developing a process to put this valuable research into action. For further reading, see the relevant Urban Institute study linked here.

3 Jan 2019

Rank #5

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Data Points Episode #59: Improvement Science in Education

When we thinking of measuring outcomes in education, we often think of test scores as the ultimate indicator. But a team of practitioners and researchers in Baltimore City are working together to use a science-based method to identify and implement incremental changes, and to empower teachers, school leaders and others to understand and use multiple layers of data in their day-to-day work. On this episode of Data Points we speak with Jarrod Bolte, founder of Improving Education; Faith Connolly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC); and Marc Stein, Associate Professor of Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education and Research Co-Director of BERC, about how practitioners are using improvement science to make smaller changes to achieve outcomes in areas like early literacy and attendance for students in Baltimore City schools. For further reading, check out these EdWeek blogs from the perspectives of researcher and practitioner. And linked here is a video of Improvement Science at work in Baltimore City high schools. Additional information and resources are available through the Carnegie Foundation, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

19 Nov 2018

Rank #6

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Data Points Podcast Episode 57 - Ethics and Algorithms

Algorithms are a growing part of government work. They play a part in items ranging from traffic light decisions to criminal sentencing and a variety of topics in between. However, there is not a consistent way to think about algorithms as a public sector employee, leading to a wide range of usage. GovEx and a few partners set out to change that through the creation of the Ethics and Algorithms Toolkit. In this episode, we talk with Joy Bonaguro, former Chief Data Officer for the City and County of San Francisco, and Miriam McKinney, an analyst on the GovEx team, about the development of the toolkit. They describe the work to gather feedback from stakeholders, the iteration of work on the toolkit itself, and the ways that anyone can use the toolkit to help center their own work. If you are interested in learning more about algorithms, check out a preview of the toolkit here. If you're interested in working with the toolkit and need assistance, please contact us at govex@jhu.edu. Like Data? Listen and Get in Touch Look for us on iTunes or Google as GovEx Data Points Find up-to-date episodes on our website Get in touch with us and let us know what you want to hear, suggest potential episodes, and give us feedback on how the podcast is going. You can contact us on Twitter at Gov_Ex or reach out via our website at govex.jhu.edu/contact.

20 Sep 2018

Rank #7