About Our Sprints

The Opportunity Project works through collaborative sprints that bring technology developers, communities, and government together to solve problems using open data. Learn more about the problems that teams have tackled since The Opportunity Project started, who participates, and how the process works below.



Problem Statements




2018

2017

2016



Promoting Access to and Interest in STEM Fields

Challenge: Develop tools for parents and students that promote students’ interest in STEM and empower them to pursue STEM education locally.

Target Audience: Parents, students, and/or STEM advocacy groups

Potential Data Sources: Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)



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Helping States Develop Education Report Cards

Challenge: Develop parent-friendly, scalable approaches to communicating data about public schools that drive insight and engagement—and meet the requirements of a recent federal law.

Target Audience: States; parents as a secondary audience

Potential Data Sources: Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)


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Using AI to Connect Veterans with Registered Apprenticeships

Challenge: Develop tools that use artificial intelligence algorithms or natural language processing technology to match veterans to registered apprenticeship programs.

Target Audience: Veterans

Potential Data Sources: CareerOneStop Data, ONET Occupational Data



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Increasing Government Accountability by Connecting Federal Spending and Performance Data

Challenge: Develop public facing tools that link federal spending and performance (or outcome) data to provide comprehensive insight into the use of federal taxpayer dollars across programs.

Target Audience: Engaged citizens seeking clear information

Potential Data Sources: USASpending.gov , Performance.gov



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Improving Access to and Management of Federal Grants

Challenge: Develop tools that expand on existing systems to help grant recipients manage the entire grants lifecycle, helping grant managers and recipients search for opportunities, streamline reporting, and assess risks.

Target Audience: Grant managers and recipients

Potential Data Sources: USASpending.gov , SAM.gov



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Using Geospatial Data to Help People Prepare for Disasters

Challenge: Create digital tools that use data to help individuals and community leaders gain a better understanding of national and community hazards and threats and enable the public to take appropriate preparedness actions.

Target Audience: Individuals ages 18-34 and influencers within communities, to include faith leaders, emergency managers, and leaders of civic organizations.

Potential Data Sources: US Census Bureau American Community Survey, USGS earthquake data , FEMA 2016 National Household Survey


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Harnessing Data and Leveraging Digital Tools to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Challenge: Create digital tools and data sharing capabilities to support decisions across stakeholders responding to the opioid crisis, such as public health, public safety, law enforcement, community groups, the private sector, and individuals.

Target Audience: Physicians, insurers, VA (payers), researchers; State and Local Health Departments; Policymakers; Elected Officials, Law Enforcement

Potential Data Sources: TBD


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Helping Tribal, State, and Local Governments with Local Address Data Collection

Challenge: Develop resources that help tribal, state, and local governments to create and maintain open address point data.

Target Audience: Tribal, state, and local governments

Potential Data Sources: TIGER/Line Roads with Address Ranges, The National Address Database (NAD), Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA) Address Count List files


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Identifying and Strengthening Civic Environmental Stewardship

Challenge: Develop tools that visualize and provide access to the patterns, overlaps, and gaps in environmental stewardship efforts in order to identify groups that support community quality of life and strengthen community resilience.

Target Audience: Public agencies, NGOs, designers, funders, researchers, neighborhood groups, and community organizers

Potential Data Sources: Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW MAP), US Census datasets


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Making Federal Grants Data User-Friendly for Local Leaders

Challenge: Create digital tools for Federal financial assistance that help local leaders navigate and manage Federal grants.

Target Audience: State, local, and tribal governments, nonprofits, and universities


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Engaging Communities in the Census

Challenge: Create digital tools that enable individuals and communities to see and experience the value of the Census in order to increase participation in the Census.

Target Audience: Everyone living in the United States


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Youth Homelessness

Challenge: Digital tools that better our understanding of where our homeless pre K-12 students are enrolled and how well we are serving them.

Target Audience: National, state, and local policymakers, educators, and service agencies

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Veterans Homelessness and Employment

Challenge: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is focused on ensuring that we end homelessness for our veterans and support them in the most effective way possible.

Target Audience: Veterans


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Increasing Safety and Mobility Across the Nation

Challenge: Community advocates often have a difficult time synthesizing/disseminating complete information about issues their neighborhoods are facing. Without good data, these advocates have a hard time effectively engaging with their local governments to drive meaningful change in their community.

Target Audience: Local community leaders


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Supporting Decision-Making for Student Sub-populations and their Families

Challenge: Certain mobile or disconnected student populations entering or reentering the community could greatly benefit from data and resources to support their wellbeing and success.

Target Audience: Mobile/disconnected student populations


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Identifying Equity Scores and Gaps

Challenge: Develop tools that leverage data to help stakeholders understand where educational inequities exist.

Target Audience: Decision-makers (e.g. superintendents, principals, school board members, state departments of education), municipal leaders (e.g. mayors, city council members), and parents


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Ending Homelessness

Challenge: Develop tools to connect potential landlords with the providers of Rapid Rehousing servicess to the homeless.

Target Audience: Emergency shelters, homeless advocates, landlords



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Promoting Health and Wellbeing Nationwide

Challenge: Parents and community leaders could benefit from evidence-based tools that provide information regarding Emotional Well-Being and cultivate individual and community-level EWB.

Target Audience: Parents, local officials, health advocates, policymakers


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Accessing Apprenticeships

Challenge: Job seekers who are looking for apprenticeship opportunities within their communities or in specific areas are currently unable to identify Registered Apprenticeships (RA) training/job openings.

Target Audience: Educators, college career aides, potential employers


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Connecting Americans to Skills and Jobs

Challenge: Unlocking workforce data can make it easier for Americans who are chronically unemployed or underemployed to find and access new training and job opportunities.

Target Audience: Job placement professionals, community advocates


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Small Town Resource Guide

Challenge: Many small towns lack the capacity/human capital to take advantage of programs (e.g. grants and low cost loans for broadband, health facilities, water systems, businesses, housing) for which they are eligible.

Target Audience: Local officials, community leaders


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Summer Food Programs

Challenge: During the academic year, many students rely on school meals for breakfast and lunch. In the summer, students and families seek a reliable alternative, but information on summer meals sites is often lacking.

Target Audience: Parents, local officials, health advocates, policymakers


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For more detailed information on this year's sprints, click here for our Summer sprint and here for geo-cohort.


Overview

During an Opportunity Project sprint, technology companies, universities, and non-profits build products using open data from federal agencies and other sources. Data and policy experts from federal, state and local government, advocacy organizations, and product specialists participate to share their expertise and provide feedback during the sprint.


Roles

Tech Team

Tech Teams are the private sector companies, universities, non-profits, and even students who participate in sprints to build products that translate open data into valuable tools for people across the country. The tech teams design, own, and help to launch the products they build.

Government

Federal government policy experts help to identify problems facing the public. Data stewards from federal agencies answer questions about open data to help the tech teams find and use the best data available to solve the problem. They also listen to feedback from sprint participants to make data more user-friendly.


User Advocate

User Advocates are community leaders, advocates, and people with direct lived experience that can help the tech teams design products that are realistic, useful, and solve a problem for the target end users. For example, user advocates for a veterans problem statement might include service providers and veterans themselves.

Product Specialist

Product Specialists from outside of government help the teams to ensure that the products they create continue after the sprints, so that they can reach their target end users and have real impact.


Timeline

Each 12-14-week sprint includes user research, data exploration, product development, user testing, and launch.

 

 

 

 

User Research

Tech Teams work with user advocates, experts, and product specialists to learn more about the problem, and translate user needs into product design.

Data Exploration

Tech Teams explore open data available to solve the problem they’re tackling, and data stewards help them to find government open data to use in their digital products.

Development

Teams design and build data-driven digital products, with input from all the other participants. User Advocates participate in usability testing and feedback sessions.

Product Launch

Everyone participates in Demo Day to present the new tools that have been created using open data. After Demo Day, the teams keep working together to get the products out to the public.