Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What If This Market Analysis Tool Were Used to Support Growth of Youth Programs

Below is a screen shot from a Business Market Analysis Case Study posted by ESRI this week.  I encourage you to open the link and see how Walgreens uses this tool to determine where to place new stores.

Open link and view this market analysis tool
UPDATE:  10-24-2019 - here's a different example of using GIS mapping to support fund raising efforts. Read both articles then the rest of this blog article.

Imagine having this tool available to social sector intermediaries like the Tutor/Mentor Connection.  In early 1993 when a volunteer from IBM was introducing me to Geographic Information Systems I saw interactive uses of mapping as planning tools and understood their potential to visually communicate.

Between then and 2009, with the help of volunteers and a few donors, I was able to mimic some of those tools in the types of maps and map platforms we created to help support the growth of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, but was never able to get the full suite of tools, nor the executive commitment to use these in efforts to engage corporate resources in helping tutor/mentor programs grow in areas served by different companies.

See map in this story

At the left is one of the map stories we created in the 1990s. This has all of the elements of the ESRI tool, except it is not automated. We show specific parts of Chicago, tell a story of a shooting, talk about the poverty that is a root cause of much of the violence, and talk about assets in the area (businesses, faith groups, colleges, hospitals) who could be helping tutor/mentor programs grow in that area.

Imagine having that story told with a GIS tool like the one ESRI is showing. Imagine the story being told by a corporate CEO or Mayor of a big city!   I can imagine it. I've not been able to make it happen!

Browse through this set of articles, written since 2008, to show how Tutor/Mentor Connection (now Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC) has been attempting to use maps.
view map & list of programs here

The one unique feature of the T/MC work is that we've been collecting information about non-school, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs in the Chicago region since 1993, and our efforts aim to draw volunteers, donors and ideas directly to each program, to help each constantly improve.

T/MC goes beyond technical assistance and showing "how" to recruit and/or raise money. T/MC has helped build public attention and recruit and raise money for these programs since 1994. 

And T/MC uses maps to try to ensure a distribution of k-12 programs in every high poverty neighborhood of the Chicago region.

If you know of others using maps this way, please share it in the comments section.

Since 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Connection has been led by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (which is a one person - Dan Bassill (me) - operation based in the Chicago region). Here's a 2019 article showing what I've been trying to do and showing help needed to re-build my capacity to do this work.

These maps could be any major city in the world, not just Chicago. That means a  university, business and/or civic organization from any place in the world could spend time learning what the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC  has been building then offer to adopt, and rebuild, the strategy to apply in their own city and to share with other cities.

Any company could be using ESRI tools as part of this ROLE OF LEADERS  commitment, to support the growth of youth serving organizations in areas where they do business, and/or where customers and employees live.

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Linkedin.  Let's explore this possibility. 

In the short term, please make a contribution to help me continue to fund this work.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Link between poverty, segregation and education performance

In my Twitter feed today was a post that pointed me to this article, titled: An analysis of achievement gaps in every school in America shows that poverty is the biggest hurdle.  The article draws upon data that is available in this Stanford Opportunity Explorer map.

Below I'm showing three map views that I created by zooming in on the map.

The blue shades show "students' scores, in grade levels, relative to the national average (grades 3-8, 2009-2016)". This is explained in the table in the lower right corner of the page.  Click on the "more info" link and a panel opens on the left side of the page with a set of questions and answers.

National View of Opportunity Explorer
Then I zoomed in to look at the Chicago area where I've focused on helping volunteer-based, non-school tutor/mentor programs grow since forming the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.  At this level of detail  you can see individual schools, which are color coded to show how they perform vs the national average.

View of Chicago region - Central/South

Then I zoomed in more to focus on the central part of the city.  For reference, look at this map which we created more than 10 years ago, showing the Illinois 7th Congressional District. You can see how this district stretches from Chicago's lakefront to the far West suburbs and that there are areas of high poverty in the middle and South part of the district (note: this is 2000 census data). 

7th Illinois Congressional District
Now look at the third map that I created using the Opportunity Explorer.  I'm focusing on the same area as the 7th Congressional District. You can see the difference between more affluent areas (green) and greater poverty areas (blue).

This map covers much of the 7th Congressional District
Now look at the map below, showing the 7th Congressional District, which was created using the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, which a team from India built for the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 2008 using money we'd received from an anonymous donor. (This team first introduced themselves to me in 2007 by rebuilding our Organizational History and Tracking System (OHATS) page - on a pro-bono basis!)

7th District view using Program Locator - click here

The Opportunity Explore is a great resource.  However, I wish it had overlays showing Congressional or State legislative districts, so voters could build an understanding of the segregation, poverty and school performance within their district and hold elected leaders accountable for generating the resources and mobilizing the leadership needed to improve the lives of those living in poverty.  

Unfortunately the Tutor/Mentor Connection was not able to attract new funding after 2008 due to the financial crisis, which also affected the volunteers from India who were helping us. In 2011 this led to the strategy being discontinued at the non profit I founded in 1993, which led me to form the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (also 2011) to try to keep this resource updated and available.  

It is available. It's not updated. However if you explore it's features, it's loaded.  For instance, in the upper right I've pointed to an "enlargement" button which expands the map to your full screen. That enables you to look closer at the information on the map, including the green stars, representing non-school tutor and/or mentor programs in the map area.  

Data platforms - click here
The Tutor/Mentor Program Locator is not the only resource people can use. It is one of the few that overlays non-school tutor/mentor programs and is intended to support leaders working to fill neighborhoods with a wide range of k-12 youth programs.

I point to a wide range of data platforms in this concept map. I'll add the Stanford Opportunity Explorer today.  These can be used to understand issues and create map-stories that share your understanding with other people, mobilizing the talent, dollars and votes needed to change conditions shown on the maps.  

View more stories on this blog showing uses of maps, and view stories on the Tutor/Mentor blog, also using maps. Imagine such stories appearing on thousands of web sites and blogs, created by students, volunteers, policy makers, elected leaders, etc.

I'm looking for partners at universities, businesses think tanks and/or other non-profits who will spend time learning what I've been trying to do and then invest and adopt, updating the Program Locator, and rebuilding strategies that I'm no longer able to lead as well as needed, due to lack of support.  

If I can get the attention and investment from just one of the growing number of billionaires in the world, this entire strategy could be relaunched, using their name and influence. Share this article, and perhaps you can help me reach these people. 

This link points to social media platforms where we can connect.