Funded by philanthropic organizations, the Democratizing our Data Challenge (DDC) was designed to develop and scale innovative product ideas for understanding public policy and programs by using government administrative data that are securely hosted in the Coleridge Initiative’s Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF).

The vision of the Democratizing our Data Challenge is to transform the secure and safe use of data and evidence to inform policy in a fast-changing world. Successful proposals seek to develop, build upon, or scale innovative products, including new data linkages, data dashboards, data portals, APIs, data models, or code repositories.

Successful proposals will be sustainable and scale across agencies, states, and communities to have the greatest possible impact. A key aspect of the Challenge is to support the collaboration of agencies (within and across states) and partner organizations, such as universities, non-profits, and mission-driven private organizations.

To view Round 1 Awards, please click here.

To view Round 2 Awards, please click here.

Interest Areas

1. Target Populations include low-income learners/workers, at-risk youth, underrepresented minorities, immigrants, and formerly incarcerated individuals.

2. Education to workforce outcomes: postsecondary to labor market transitions, secondary transitions, leading indicators of economic mobility and/or wage improvements, and unemployment to reemployment patterns; leading indicators of progress towards outcomes, such as first-year persistence, credential completion, time to completion, and job placement.

3. Feasibility studies: new approaches to credentialing and credentialing transparency, alignment between K-12, postsecondary, and workforce data systems.

4. Other areas might be in scope, interested applicants should contact datachallenge@coleridgeinitiative.org for further information.


A wide range of organizations are eligible to apply, including state agencies (e.g., state departments of labor, education, workforce development, corrections, health, and social services), postsecondary institutions (including research institutions within universities), nonprofits with data and research capabilities (e.g., think tanks) and mission-aligned for-profit organizations (that are eligible for grant funding). However, because it is critical that the Challenge results in timely and useful products grounded in data and evidence, we require all proposals to include a partnership with at least one state that already has or will soon have data in the ADRF. All teams should feature cross-organization collaboration, such as state agencies collaborating with each other and with their local universities and/or nonprofit organizations.

Project Tiers

To enable a diversity of potential projects, we have established three project award tiers that reflect different levels of maturity and investment needed to achieve the goals of the program.

Tier 1: Getting to the Finish Line

Applicants might 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. A target amount for this tier would be approximately $50,000.

Tier 2: Scaling through Community Building

Applicants might propose 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. A target amount for this tier would be approximately $300,000.

Tier 3: Innovation and Product Development

Applicants would work to expand the integration of the data across multiple agencies and other states to create new data assets. They would develop and use the Applied Data Analytics training program as an innovation sandbox to test new products using those data assets. A target amount for this tier would be approximately $500,000.



The 2022-2023 application period has ended.




September 30, 2022 – LOI submission deadline

October 31, 2022 – Finalists are selected and invitations for full proposals are sent.

January 31, 2023 – Final proposal submission deadline

March 2023 – Awards are made