Stanford and Third Sector Launch Partnerships for Economic Opportunity

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and Third Sector Capital Partners have joined with three state and local governments to develop a new big-data infrastructure for evaluating programs that aim to increase economic opportunity.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the Santa Cruz Human Services Department, and the Washington Department of Early Learning will receive research and development support from Stanford and Third Sector. These government-nonprofit-university partnerships will build linked federal, state, and local administrative data sets for evaluating policy and improving economic outcomes and well-being.

The first cohort of state and local agencies will be supported by a grant awarded by the Social Innovation Fund, a federal program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and Third Sector Capital Partners. This $1.5 million grant was matched by a $1.5 million contribution from the Ballmer Group.

“These communities are showing their commitment to using data to develop programs based on outcomes. By accessing and linking to critical data, these communities will be able to better measure results and improve services. This effort is essential to expanding data-driven social programming resulting in delivering proven support to those individuals most in need,” said Caroline Whistler, CEO of Third Sector Capital Partners.

The three awardees are:


  • San Diego County, CA, will use data and technical assistance from this project to support analysis and review of programs and services provided by the County and community based organizations aimed at addressing homelessness. The partnership with the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and Third Sector Capital Partners will strengthen the County’s capacity to develop and analyze innovative approaches to integrating housing, health care and human services to improve outcomes for homeless individuals and families.
  • Santa Cruz County, CA, will study changes in self-sufficiency for individuals who participate in subsidized employment programs as part of CalWORKs. Linked data will provide new evidence on outcomes after participants finish these programs. The county also seeks to learn how subsidized employment programs and other welfare to work activities under CalWORKS affect housing stability, substance abuse, and mental health.
  • The Washington Department of Early Learning plans to evaluate its early childhood intervention programs (e.g., Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and Early Support for Infants and Toddlers) in order to advance Washington’s ongoing efforts to integrate data on home visitation and other interventions with administrative data on child and family…

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