Community-owned data is our truest form of accountability

By Nadine Chan, PhD, MPH Epidemiologist, Public Health – Seattle & King County

At a recent Communities of Opportunity meeting, Sili Savusa—a neighborhood leader in White Center—proudly shared findings from a community-led health survey. It is in fact the most comprehensive health survey in the neighborhood and captures the concerns, assets, equity issues, and diversity within the neighborhood of approximately 13,000 residents.

Collecting and analyzing data to improve health is a focus for Public Health – Seattle & King County. But, we don’t always have the resources to collect neighborhood level data. Our community partnerships through Communities of Opportunity (COO) are working to change that.

“Community owned data is the truest form of accountability to families who are always trying to find their voice in policy development.

This type of data cannot be challenged by systems and institutions because it affirms the realities that families face on a day-to-day basis.” –  Sili Savusa, White Center Community Development Association.

Now, our collective efforts to prioritize neighborhood level data are getting national attention. Both in this commentary published in the AcademyHealth Journal and in this national blog post from Living Cities.

 Excerpt from the national blog post: 

Communities of Opportunity in Seattle/King County has used the White Center Community Development Association’s Community Survey as a rich data source to provide qualitative context to their work reducing health disparities in suburban areas. Results from this survey, and other community data efforts, successfully helped make the case in the state legislature for why an under-resourced neighborhood should be annexed into the city of Seattle.”

Communities of Opportunity (COO)is an effort to create greater health, social, economic and racial equity in King County. COO is included in the Best Starts for Kids plan.

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