Using Data to Support Children and Families: The North Dakota Early Childhood Integrated Data System Strategic Plan

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Argue, S., Coffey, M., Ortiz, N., Nicholas, A., Golan, S., Nguyen, J., Grannemann, K., & Bernstein, H. (2020). Using data to support children and families: The North Dakota early childhood integrated data system strategic plan. SRI International.


SRI developed this strategic plan for North Dakota to help guide the state’s partners in building community support and engagement for their early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) and establish policies and procedures to bring together data from multiple sources. The strategic plan identifies relevant national lessons learned regarding ECIDS development and implementation in three capacity areas: organizational capacity, human capacity, and technical capacity. The plan then discusses a phased-in approach to how North Dakota state administrators can use its past work and national lessons to build the capacity needed to design and implement a functional and effective ECIDS that produces actionable information for its intended audience and users.

To develop this strategic plan, we analyzed documents, surveyed and interviewed program administrators, and developed implementation plans – specifically, a data governance plan that included a data governance charter, a data governance manual, and a stakeholder engagement plan.

This strategic plan is not a technical discovery document that outlines the technological needs or specifications for developing and maintaining an ECIDS. Rather, it focuses on North Dakota’s early childhood context – its need for an ECIDS, the landscape of early childhood programs and services available in North Dakota, the ways it could use an ECIDS, and its readiness and capacity for integrating data and how to build that capacity. It also includes recommendations for data governance and stakeholder engagement activities needed to effectively develop and implement an ECIDS.

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