Equitable Data Working Group Releases Report and Recommendations
Equitable Data Working Group Releases Report and Recommendations
 
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May 2022

On April 22, the Biden administration announced the release of recommendations from the Equitable Data Working Group. This group was established in the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government with the purpose of studying existing federal data collection policies, programs, and infrastructure to identify inadequacies and provide recommendations that lay out a strategy for increasing data available for measuring equity and representing the diversity of the American people.

The report included several key priority areas for the use of data to advance equity: generating disaggregated statistical estimates to characterize experiences of historically underserved groups using survey data; increasing non-federal research and community access to disaggregated data for the evidence-building that supports equity efforts; and conducting robust equity assessments of federal programs to identify areas for improvement.

The working group also advanced several key practices that federal agencies should undertake to:

  • Make disaggregated data the norm while protecting privacy. Within this practice, the working group recommended revising the Office of Management and Budget Statistical Policy Directive 15: Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. The working group also recommended that federal agencies establish best practices for measuring sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and rural location.
  • Catalyze existing federal infrastructure to leverage underused data. Within this practice, the working group highlighted a need to expand protected access to data for equity assessment.
  • Build capacity for robust equity assessment for policymaking and program implementation. Within this practice, the working group recommended that federal agencies invest in human capital and use recovery and infrastructure initiatives to institutionalize expectations for assessing equity.
  • Galvanize diverse partnerships across levels of government and the research community. Within this practice, the working group highlighted the importance of facilitating increased federal-state-local data sharing and of expanding research opportunities for historically underrepresented scholars.
  • Be accountable to the American public. Here the working group recommended increased transparency about progress toward serving underserved populations and building data access tools that are user-friendly.

“We applaud the Equitable Data Working Group for producing a thoughtful and forward looking report and advancing compelling recommendations,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “The ‘key practices’ are aligned with important components of the Evidence Act and make equity a central emphasis. We look forward to advocating for these data ambitions. We want especially to shout out pressing for best practices in measuring sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and rural location and the impact that this recommendation can have in make for essential federal statistical change.”

Alondra Nelson, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Margo Schwab, senior science policy analyst in the Office of Management and Budget, served as co-chairs of the Equitable Data Working Group.

 
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