The Office of Policy and Management Data and Policy Analytics unit is responsible for the development and implementation of the State Data Plan, the State’s Open Data Portal, and P20 WIN, the state’s integrated data system, and development of the state GIS Office. The unit serves as a resource for data analysis and data-related projects at the Office of Policy and Management and directs and manages activities related to the collection, analysis, sharing, coordination, and dissemination of data.
The 2Gen Benefits Cliffs Work Group, formed in June 2019, has led statewide efforts to address benefits cliffs through data collection and analysis and development of policy solutions. In summer 2020, the 2Gen Benefits Cliffs Work Group in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta created Connecticut’s Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CT CLIFF) to illustrate the interaction among wages, public benefits, and tax credits in bringing (or failing to bring) families to economic stability, as well as potential taxpayer savings that result from career advancement.
The 2Gen work group beta-tested use of the CT CLIFF tool at four sites in Connecticut, including an early childhood education center, high school, and two job centers. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta was able to simulate state policy proposals along family type, public benefits package, career pathway, and region, therefore demonstrating value for policymakers in leveraging the tool to understand the impact of policy.
The state has data policies that outline the principles, people, and activities that govern its data collection and use.
6. Data Policies
A 2018 Connecticut law required each state agency to designate an agency data officer to manage high-value data sets and coordinate data-related activities with the state Chief Data Officer. The Chief Data Officer, along with individual agency data officers, is required to biannually update the state data plan, which covers open data and creates data standards for agencies. The plan also contains 11 principles and accompanying practices that all agencies should adopt to improve their management, use, sharing, and analysis of data. In addition, a 2019 law required a report on the legal issues surrounding interagency data sharing. Based on analysis of 17 state agencies and 224 data-sharing agreements, the report recommends: 1) establishing a coordinated governance structure for cross-agency data sharing, and 2) implementing cross-agency data-sharing agreements that are more flexible and durable. Building on this report, Connecticut released a Data-Sharing Playbook in 2020 to help agencies share data safely, securely, and ethically. Connecticut also expanded the coverage of the state longitudinal data system, P20 WIN, in 2021.
7. Data Infrastructure
The state has improved outcomes through technology infrastructure that allows it to efficiently collect, inventory, and share data.
7. Data Infrastructure
The Connecticut Departments of Education and Social Services leveraged data-sharing agreements by matching student and SNAP benefit data to automatically certify SNAP Pandemic EBT for Connecticut students who receive free or reduced-price meals. As of October 22, 2021, the state had distributed $119.1 million in food benefits to nearly 282,900 schoolchildren, and 34,800 SNAP recipients in child care under age 6. This allowed the state to provide meals to students participating in only the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, but who do not receive food assistance through SNAP, Medicaid, or other food assistance programs. The state also partnered with food retailers to allow SNAP enrollees to use their benefits to purchase eligible food items online.
The state has improved outcomes by combining and analyzing cross-agency data to inform policy, budget, or management decisions.
8. Data Use
The Connecticut Departments of Education and Social Services leveraged data-sharing agreements by matching student and SNAP benefit data to automatically certify SNAP Pandemic EBT for more than 287,000 Connecticut students who receive free or reduced-price meals. This allowed the state to provide meals to 82,000 students participating in only the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, but who do not receive food assistance through SNAP, Medicaid, or other food assistance programs. The state also partnered with food retailers to allow SNAP enrollees to use their benefits to purchase eligible food items online.
Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, in partnership with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab, implemented an Enhanced Service Coordination project in 2019. One part of the state’s 2020-2024 Child and Family Services Plan, it seeks to improve the process of matching clients to services across the state. The innovations include real-time use of data to inform organizational processes and procurement as well as active contract management strategies to further improve service delivery.
The state has a leadership and governance structure with the authority to use evaluations to improve results.
9. Evaluation Leadership & Governance
The Connecticut State Department of Education’s Office of Performance is led by a Chief Performance Officer, who is responsible for using data, evaluation, research, and technology to improve student outcomes. The Chief Performance Officer maintains the department’s data collection, assessment, information technology, reporting, research, and accountability activities, including the management of its performance dashboard, EdSight. The office also hosts an annual Performance Matters Forum, which focuses on performance, continuous improvement, research, and evaluation topics.
Issue Areas: Education
12. Evaluation Use
The state has improved results by using evaluation, program inventories, and cost-benefit analysis.
12. Evaluation Use
A 2015 Connecticut law defines three tiers of evidence for programs operated by the Connecticut Departments of Correction, Children and Families, and Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch: evidence-based, research-based, and promising. The law requires these agencies to categorize their programs by the evidence tiers in even-numbered fiscal years. Additionally, the law charges the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University with submitting an annual report containing a cost-benefit analysis of the programs. In 2020, the report entitled Benefit-Cost Analyses of Evidence-Based Programs showed that 108 programs and services administered by the Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division and the Department of Correction were identified as evidence-based.
Issue Areas: Child Welfare, Criminal Justice, Health