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Data and Policy: Responding to Human Services Needs


The Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research has released the next white paper in their Leading Edge Dialogue series: Data and Policy: Responding to Human Services Needs. Data is needed for decision-making, particularly around human services and community development, which are complex and intersectional issues. Skill in leveraging and presenting data will position research at the forefront of social policy conversations and decisions; however, retaining current silos of data and research could lead to suboptimal policy decisions and erosion of support for public universities. In fact, in the government human services sector there is a thirst for better data to legitimize and support social policy decisions; this creates a potential for partnerships and interface between Extension and government agencies. Emerging opportunities for collaboration from a panel of experts and participants at the 2019 National Urban Extension Conference during the 90-minute interactive Leading-Edge Dialogue are available here.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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