Community leaders and advocates who work in community-based organizations face a steep challenge. The job of these advocates is to get the attention of decision makers and help them understand the unique challenges and assets of their neighborhood, community, or issue. Additionally they must persuade decision makers that the needs of their community merit funding or resources to meet those needs.
Community advocates use many strategies to meet this challenge, including engagement through public education, mobilization through organizing, strategic communications, and research. In recent years, advances in both communications and research have allowed advocates to more effectively tell their communities’ stories, paint a compelling picture of residents’ needs, and more effectively hold decision makers accountable.
Good Data = Good Decision-Making: Community-Driven Change provides an overview of how community-based leaders and advocates are using geographic data and communications tools to be more effective at advocating for and securing change. For this overview, we use examples from Advancement Project’s Health Equity and research teams to highlight the role of geography and share ways that the leaders of community-based organizations (CBO’s) have used mapping technology, research, and data to transform their communities.