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Getting To Know Neighborhoods

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Dated: October 2000 Pages: 10-17
Date Published
October 2000
8 pages
Publication Series
This article provides an overview of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), an advanced information system with integrated and periodically updated information on conditions in 13 neighborhoods.
In the 1990's nonprofit institutions in several cities started a project that involved constructing computer-based information systems that would give them data on a variety of conditions and trends at the neighborhood level so they could identify on-the-ground patterns of problems and opportunities, plan well-targeted responses, and, ultimately, track results. By 1995 six cities had built advanced information systems with integrated and periodically updated information on neighborhood conditions. In 1995 the six nonprofits joined the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., to establish the NNIP, with the aim of further coordinating the use of such systems in local policymaking and community building. Currently, 13 organizations comprise the NNIP. The databanks of the NNIP contain data on an extensive array of social welfare issues, including births, deaths, crime, health status, educational performance, public assistance, and property conditions. The NNIP's long-term agenda has four parts: advance the use of information in community capacity building; use information to support better local policymaking; incorporate partners' data and information from other sources; and help other cities build the capacity to develop neighborhood indicators. Other topics discussed in this article include how the NNIP defines "neighborhood," the increase in the number of impartial information requests from the information systems, and types of access and requests. The latter include strategic planning, building awareness and dialog, accurately identifying low-income neighborhoods, program monitoring and evaluation, community building, and meeting private-sector needs. System costs and directions for the future are also discussed. 4 notes and a listing of organizations in the NNIP

Date Published: October 1, 2000