Facilitating participatory analysis with community-based organizations of how different groups—such as Southeast Asians, people with developmental disabilities, and the LGBTQ community—are experiencing the pandemic to inform response and recovery efforts.
Organizations across the US are trying to address health, housing, and economic disparities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. CTData Collaborative, a nonprofit that empowers organizations to use data for informed decision-making, will help community-based organizations in Hartford use data to make decisions about COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. CTData Collaborative believes that informed decision-making requires understanding how different groups are experiencing the pandemic differently, and that this understanding can be enhanced by looking at data already being collected and shared by public institutions. Its work will build on surveys that the University of Connecticut Department of Public Health Sciences developed with community-based organizations to identify how different groups of people adapted their behaviors in response to COVID-19 challenges and how the pandemic has affected their lives. Some of these groups include African Americans, Latinx people, people who use intravenous drugs, LGBTQ people, people with developmental disabilities, Southeast Asians, Muslims across cultural and national groups, people with HIV, and seniors in subsidized housing. As a next step, CTData Collaborative will engage community-based organizations in Hartford to conduct collaborative data analysis, combining an analysis of survey data with public secondary data using a racial justice framework. This will include engaging in participatory analysis and providing data training for organizations based on their expressed needs.
CTData Collaborative hopes the data will assist community-based organizations with their programmatic decision-making. The survey responses should also provide insight into whether different groups have accurate information about COVID-19, including how it is spreading and what can be done to slow that spread. With these survey results, the community-based organizations will be able to design outreach and messaging to target groups that need better information about the virus and necessary safety precautions. Lastly, the survey results should offer a glimpse into issues associated with family and support dynamics experienced during social distancing. Many families’ support networks were already fragile before the pandemic, and issues related to conflict, domestic violence, and overcrowding have likely only worsened during the pandemic. Having timely data will give organizations a more complete picture of the problem and help them respond effectively to issues affected or exacerbated by the pandemic.