California needs its youth to thrive. But how do we know if they are?
Researchers, advocates and organizers who want to foster healthy families and communities in the Golden State require accurate, compelling and actionable data about the condition of youth. A collaborative interactive data website that originated at UC Davis, called Putting Youth on the Map, helps meet that need.
Putting Youth on the Map, which won a 2017 University of California award for innovative and collaborative technology, presents two youth indices, plus 46 data layers that offer more than 17,000 potential data combinations. It’s a joint effort by the UC Davis Center for Regional Change (CRC), UC Davis Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), and UC Cooperative Extension.
“Combined with the stories from young people themselves, the tool can paint a comprehensive picture of youth vulnerability and well-being throughout the state,” the CRC summarizes. “Organizations have successfully leveraged the data from this user-friendly tool to guide funders, stakeholders, and policymakers to make better decisions for youth.”
Groups that have used the tool so far illustrate the diversity of its appeal. They include New American Media; San Joaquin County Alliance of Boys and Men of Color, My Brother’s Keeper; Asian Resources and Building Healthy Communities in Sacramento; the Yolo County Office of Education; the Land Use Planning Awareness program through the Riverside County Department of Public Health; and Coachella Unincorporated and Building Healthy Communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley.