The IIC's 2018-2019 Applied Data Fellowship projects launched in September of 2018.


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Office of the President of Cook County 

IIC has partnered with the Office of the President of Cook County (Cook County) to support the County’s goals of thoughtfully leveraging data to increase transparency and harness the resulting synergies to enhance countywide initiatives. Led by and housed under the newly created Office of Research, Operations and Innovation, the fellows are tasked with conducting a comprehensive assessment and mapping of the current and historic investments made by Cook County. This coordinated investment data will result in more strategic, coordinated, and impactful funding of projects across County government. Investments being reviewed include, Environment and Sustainability’s Brownfield remediation grants, Economic Development’s Community Development Block Grants, Justice Advisory Council’s grants, Transportation’s Invest in Cook grants and infrastructure projects, as well as commercial and industrial tax incentives.

The cross-departmental focus of the fellows’ project will establish a recommended protocol and process for how the County could institutionalize a structure and program that allows for more streamlined and coordinated work across departments and bureaus. Further, this will contribute to increased transparency, one of the County’s guiding principles.


Crime and Education Labs

IIC has partnered with the Crime and Education Labs to support the ongoing analysis and evaluation of two programs: Choose to Change (C2C) and Working on Womanhood (WOW). WOW is a school-based year-long group counseling and clinical mentoring program targeted to improve social-emotional competencies for girls exposed to traumatic stressors in high risk and in under-resourced communities in the city of Chicago. WOW serves around 1750 girls in 7th-12th grade. C2C combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and personalized mentorship to reduce the risk of violence and justice system involvement and improve academic achievement for youth in specific populations in Chicago. Violence and justice system involvement are pressing issues in Chicago, where around 60% of people arrested for violent crimes are under the age of 25. Currently, C2C provides services to approximately 500 youth ages 13-18 in Chicago’s Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods. The analysis undertaken by the Crime and Education Lab is expected to contribute to shade light on the mechanisms behind the impact of the programs and to provide evidence to increase funding to expand programs to unserved populations.

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Consortium on School Research at the University of Chicago

IIC has partnered with the Consortium on School Research at the University of Chicago to study the implementation of Common Core Math and Next Generation Science State Standards in Chicago Public Schools. The implementation factors include student performance, differences in schools’ organizational capacities, professional development available to teachers, and direct feedback on instruction from teachers and students. Findings from this work will be used within CPS to improve students’ classroom engagement and post-secondary outcomes, as well as inform future efforts to implement standards in urban schools across the country.

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The Chicago Community Trust

IIC has partnered with the Chicago Community Trust, the city's largest foundation with nearly $2.7 billion in assets, to support the Trust's organizational redesign efforts. The yearlong implementation process requires the foundation to better align its current operating model with its new strategic vision: closing Chicago's racial wealth gap. In addition to managing the day-to-day of the organizational redesign, IIC will also assist the Trust in its efforts to build the tools and processes need to infuse data and metrics into the foundation's work. 

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West Side United

IIC has partnered with West Side United (WSU), an ambitious health equity effort by six hospitals (Rush, Presence, Lurie Children's, Sinai, Cook County Health and Hospital Systems, and UI Health) working to reduce life expectancy gaps of up to 16 years between Chicago’s downtown and 10 Chicago West Side neighborhoods by 2030. WSU seeks to improve neighborhood health by addressing inequality in healthcare, education, economic vitality and the neighborhoods’ physical environment. As the first collaborative of its type int he country, partners include healthcare providers, community organizations, residents, the faith-based community, business, government and others. Our fellows' work varies from impact measurement to policy research and advocacy, all in the effort to assist WSU achieve the overarching goal of reducing the mentioned life expectancy gap and bring together even more partners to the collaborative. 


Cook County Sheriff’s Office

IIC has partnered with the Office of Research at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to contribute to ongoing program evaluation as well as to investigate and expand on the relationships between various predictive factors and lengths of stay for detainees. The fellows are working toward a long-term goal of the Sheriff’s Office to understand influences on length of stay of detainees as well as changes in length of stay over time in order to better explain shifts in the jail population. This will be accomplished by examining data for detainees released in 2017 and 2018 by age, race, gender, charges, and release types in order to provide an overall analysis of trends as well as more detailed investigations and continued research for the Policy department and the Sheriff’s Justice Institute. The Policy department will use the findings to create and inform overarching policy initiatives while the Sheriff’s Justice Institute will use them to bolster efforts targeting specific individuals or groups with above average lengths of stay.