Coleridge Initiative

Democratizing our Data:
A Challenge to Invest in Data and Evidence-based Policy

For questions, email: [email protected]


At least $5 million has been committed to support up to 15 projects over the course of two rounds; we are continuing to fundraise to support additional projects beyond the first cohort. To enable a diversity of potential projects, we have established three project award tiers that reflect differing levels of maturity and investment needed to achieve the goals of the Data Challenge. The funding levels in each tier are only illustrative guidelines, based on the Coleridge Initiative’s assessment of existing work; there is substantial flexibility within each tier.  A timeline for each project’s completion  should be considered when assessing the appropriate tier.

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Tier 1: Getting to the Finish Line

State agencies can propose projects they have been developing that would take a final investment to be implemented. This could include, for example, standardized reusable code for defining non-completion, reoccurring or “stuttered” unemployment, job churning, or labor market sectors. The funding level would be up to $50,000.

Tier 2: Scaling through Community Building

State agencies can make use of ideas proven in one state and enhance, expand, and extend with other states. These could include, for example, unemployment to reemployment portals, multi-state education to workforce dashboards, or evaluation of the effectiveness of training programs within correctional institutions. Past projects can be found here. The funding level would be up to $300,000.

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Tier 3: Innovation and Product Development

State agencies would work to expand integration of the data across multiple agencies and other states to create new data assets. They would develop and use a training program as an innovation sandbox to test new products using those data assets. The funding level would be up to $500,000.

The Coleridge Initiative knows that success requires long-term community building to be sustainable.  Proposals in all tiers should have some aspect of community building through training and/or workshops that enable the best ideas to scale across agency and state lines.