Coleridge Initiative

TANF Data Collaborative

Invitation to participate in an Applied Data Analytics training program.

We are delighted to announce that the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services is facilitating an Applied Data Analytics training program for TANF data teams through the Coleridge Initiative. The training is developed as part of the TANF Data Collaborative.

Who: We would like to invite individuals who work in TANF agencies, or in state Departments of Labor who work with TANF agencies, in any state, territory, or tribe to apply.  The goal of the class is to develop an evidence base for state and local agencies seeking to support TANF recipients.

Why: The Applied Data Analytics training program is designed to enhance data analysis capabilities by training teams of policy analysts and researchers on the application of big data tools to real-world microdata on a secure computing platform known as the Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF). The program is based on the successful textbook “Big Data and Social Science: A Practical Guide to Methods and Tools,” which has been edited by some of the instructors. 

What: Participants will develop a variety of new skills in three separate modules.  The first module will provide training in how to work with SQL and R. The second module will teach participants how to work with confidential TANF and workforce data to study the employment pathways of TANF recipients and to develop measures of the jobs they get, the jobs they keep, and their success in moving up in the labor market. The third module will focus on understanding the demand side of the labor market and how to use machine learning to characterize the firms that hire TANF recipients and their contribution to labor market success. The results will be to provide participants with (i) an understanding of how to work with similar data in their own state, territory, or tribe, and (ii) the code necessary to produce analytical reports.

Module 1 lasts four weeks. Participants can expect to spend 3 hours per week on asynchronous self-paced learning with 1 hour per week of instructor-led review and support. Modules 2 and 3 consist of 12 total classes. Each class consists of 2 hours of instructor-led class sessions and group work with about 2 hours of asynchronous learning per class.

When: Registration is open to TANF agency staff, and staff from partnering Departments of Labor, in any state, territory, or tribe.  Registration closes February 28.  Acceptance decisions will be made by March 15. Class dates can be found here.

How: Interested jurisdictions should propose teams of 3-4 individuals who currently work with TANF or labor market data in their states – as consumers, users, producers, or providers.  Individual applicants should provide the following

  1. Their CV
  2. A statement describing how their participation will help their agency
  3. A statement from their supervisor describing how their participation will help their agency and agreeing to support the participant’s substantial commitment of time during the class.

Please send the application information to [email protected] by February 28.  HHS, MDRC and Coleridge will review applications and select state teams by March 15.

More information: We will host an informational webinar that provides an overview of the structure and content of the class on February 15 at noon Eastern time.  Please register in advance for this meeting. Register here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For more information about attendance in the webinar and your team application, please contact:

Julia Lane
Professor, Wagner, NYU and the Coleridge Initiative
Cell phone: 646 208 4990

[email protected]