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White House launches The Opportunity Project to harness open data for building strong ladders of opp


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What is “Opportunity?” Opportunity is thought of as:

  1. access to the resources and services that a family, individual, or community needs to thrive, and

  2. freedom from the stressors that detract from the family, individual, or community’s ability to thrive.

What’s been happening? In early 2016, the White House, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development facilitated a process in which tech developers worked with subject matter experts and cities to build digital tools that help families, community leaders, local officials, and the media to access what they need to thrive.

This effort culminated with a White House demo on March 7.

Excerpts from a March 7, 2016 White House media fact sheet: The Opportunity Project will put data and tools in the hands of civic leaders, community organizations, and families to help them navigate information about critical resources such as access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, and other neighborhood amenities. This project is about unleashing the power of data to help our children and our children’s children access the resources they need to thrive. Today, the Administration is releasing a unique package of Federal and local datasets in an easy-to-use format and accelerating a new way for the federal government to collaborate with local leaders, technologists, and community members to use data and technology to tackle inequities and strengthen their communities.

Key components of this announcement include:

  1. The launch of “The Opportunity Project” and Opportunity.Census.gov to provide easy access to the new package of Opportunity Project data, a combination of Federal and local data, on key assets that determine access to opportunity at the neighborhood level.

  2.  The release of a dozen new private sector and non-profit digital tools that were built in collaboration with eight cities and using the Opportunity Project data to help families, local leaders, advocates, and the media navigate information about access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, neighborhood amenities, and other critical resources.

  3. More than thirty additional non-profits, community organizations, coding boot camps, academic institutions, and local governments have already committed to use the Opportunity Project data to build stronger ladders of opportunity in communities across the country.

Read more here.

Here are a number of tools that have been developed using Open Opportunity Data.

The White House invites  you to share how your organization will use opportunity data using this form.

TechRepublic posted a related story here.

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