Quality data about the race, gender, veteran status, and age of local government chief administrative officers (CAOs) and assistant chief administrative officers (ACAOs) does not exist.
This lack of information means we cannot begin to understand which organizations, regions, or forms of government have made the most gains in leadership diversity.
The ELGL Diversity Dashboard project aims to collect this data for every local government entity in the United States by December 31, 2017.
Data will be arrayed by form of government, population, county, and state, allowing for the data to be compared and contrasted.
Collecting and sharing this data is the first step in understanding the true picture of diversity in leadership in local government.
The data set can also be compared and contrasted to race, gender, veteran status, and age Census data for the local government or MSA.
In Spring 2017, students in North Carolina and Wisconsin collected this data for their respective states, and built a data collection template and methodology.
This funding request is for stipends for 17 MPA or MPP students nationwide to use the template and methodology to collect the data (each student will manage the collection for three states, generally equalizing the three states by size). (17 students x $16/hour x 60 hours = $16,320)
The request also includes stipends for two MPA or MPP students to manage the student data collectors, giving these students valuable supervisory experience. (2 students x $20/hour x 60 hours = $2,400)
Lastly, payroll costs and ELGL oversight costs are included in the total request amount of $24,720.
ELGL would manage the 19 students working on this project, with dual marketing efforts to highlight your engagement with this project.
OpenGov is donating their data visualization platform for this project, once data is collected.
Risks and challenges
Challenges include finding enough students who want to work on this project in the time allotted for the data collection. We think that paying students to help, rather than relying on volunteers, will help address this challenge.
Another challenge includes the cooperation of state municipal associations in helping compile the initial lists of municipalities by county and including population.