Resident Needs

Milwaukee, WI
United States

Using residents' reactions to neighborhood-level data on underlying health conditions associated with COVID-19 to inform response and recovery.

Sharing data with residents democratizes and vets data, and increases data literacy. Through this grant opportunity, Data You Can Use, a community data organization in Milwaukee, will engage residents and neighborhood organizations in a review of neighborhood-level data on underlying conditions associated with COVID-19. The primary purpose of the project is to gather residents’ recommendations for short- and long-term responses to health inequities. An added benefit is the opportunity to learn about techniques for engaging stakeholders during a pandemic, given social-distancing requirements and barriers caused by the digital divide.  

To gather information, Data You Can Use will facilitate “data chats” with groups of up to 10 residents at a time, reaching as many as 90 residents from 10 neighborhoods with different ethnic and racial concentrations. Ahead of these sessions, it will prepare “data digests” on underlying health conditions to review with residents, using an interactive map to show how prevalent these conditions vary by neighborhood. Residents will react and compare the data to their own experiences before recommending ways to respond.  

Data You Can Use will share residents’ recommendations with neighborhood organizations, city departments, elected officials, local funders, and academic partners in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health. These stakeholders can use the data to inform their COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. For example, neighborhood groups have incorporated wellness checks via phone in their outreach efforts. Moreover, community health centers could use these data to identify testing sites. And advocates can use the data to illustrate the daily challenges residents are facing during the pandemic, from food insecurity and transportation issues to housing instability and barriers to education.  

Social media handle: @datayoucanuse (Twitter)