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Sprints

Learn about sprints and how we tackle national challenges.

Sprints are 12-week product development cycles that bring together tech teams and collaborators to build public-facing digital products using open data.

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Problem Statement

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. These resources might include: • Tools that can be used in the field and in the office to collect, geocode, validate, maintain and share data • “Seed” data that can serve as a starting point for data collection and can be shared openly (address lists, address point data, parcel data, structure outlines) • Linkages to open data sharing platforms

Why This Problem is Important:

Tribal, state, and local address point data are critical to all levels of government. During catastrophic events such as hurricanes and wild fires, residences and businesses cannot be located using traditional means of address navigation since the structures, street signs, and landmarks no longer exist. An easily accessible data base of reliable, accurate, and uniform/standardized address point data can meet the immediate needs of emergency responders and communities in crisis. A complete address data base is also needed to accurately count citizens through censuses and surveys in order for governments to receive their share of federal funds and be accurately represented. For example, in 2015, Census Bureau data was used to distribute more than $675 billion in funds. Address data is also critical for the Master Address File (MAF) used for the decennial census and ongoing surveys. For the Department of Transportation (DOT), complete, accurate, and up-to-date addresses with location data is critical to transportation safety and the National 911 Program, which envisions an emergency response system that best serves the public, providing immediate help in all emergency situations. Mail delivery, real estate and land use decisions, and public health tracking also depend on address point data. The Census Bureau and DOT are committed to improving data completeness, accuracy and currency, which are key to successful development of a National Address Database (NAD) as a National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA).

Product Outcome

Agency

U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Transportation

Target Audience

Tribal, state, and local governments.

Problem Statement

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.

Why This Problem is Important:

Current research suggests that exposure to preparedness messaging shows a significant relationship to taking preparedness action—almost doubling the percentage of individuals with an emergency plan (58%) compared to those not exposed to preparedness messaging (34%). A major objective of FEMA’s strategic effort to build a culture of preparedness across the nation is helping people to prepare for disasters. As demonstrated on September 11, 2001, the preparedness level of private citizens can weigh heavily on the outcome of an incident, especially a no-notice event. On that day, only 5.36% of building occupants who perished in the World Trade Center collapse worked below the impact zones. This low mortality rate is attributed to the preparedness advancements set in place prior to September 11, 2001, and led the 9-11 commission to conclude that citizens across the nation need to be prepared to maximize their odds of survival should disaster strike. Changing attitudes and achieving a true culture of preparedness across the nation will require a paradigm shift in how we deliver information, particularly to younger Americans.

Agency

Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Target Audience

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

Problem Statement

Harnessing Data and Leveraging Digital Tools to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Challenge:

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

Why This Problem is Important:

The opioid crisis exerts a tremendous human and economic toll on America, and shows no sign of abating. The Administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy established a Fast-Track Action Committee (FTAC), which identified critical data gaps that hinder effective decision-making in response to the opioid crisis, from the Federal level to state and local governments, to community groups and individuals. New digital tools, data integration, and data science approaches could address key questions such as: 1. How do geographic location and local factors influence opioid misuse and addiction, and the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs based on location? 2. How can data from law enforcement, public health, forensic laboratory, and other complementary sources be integrated and analyzed to guide real-time response? 3. How do clinical and medical coverage policies for pain management, and opioid misuse and addiction, influence the landscape of the opioid crisis? 4. What is the geographic and socio-cultural context of stigma with opioid misuse and addiction?

Product Outcome

Agency

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Target Audience

Physicians, hospitals (care providers); CMS, insurers, VA (payers); patients; researchers; public health professionals; State and Local Health Departments; Policy makers; Elected Officials, Law Enforcement

Problem Statement

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 local civic groups that support community quality of life and well-being, strengthen community resilience and emergency preparedness, and amplify positive outcomes.

Why This Problem is Important:

Communities need maps of social infrastructure because civic groups are a crucial component of governing a city’s environment. Public agencies know which lands they manage and tax maps document private property ownership, but civic groups that engage in stewardship can often be more difficult to identify and locate. Research has found that civic stewardship groups focused on different issues (e.g., tree care, clean water) can be working in the same neighborhood, yet unaware of each other. Some groups may be working on similar issues, but in different places and without coordination. In order for stewards to overcome this isolation and maximize the potential for productive collaboration, communities need digital resources to locate and connect stewardship groups, as well as community leaders and interested residents, across an entire town, city, or region. To help solve this problem, the USDA Forest Service’s Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP) created a reliable, replicable survey methodology for identifying civic stewardship groups’ presence, capacity, geography, and social networks. This method has been piloted and prototyped in 12 different locations globally, helping to identify thousands of civic stewardship groups. Collaborators with expertise in interactive mapping, data visualization, and database development can help to fully bring these new datasets to life for end users, providing digital resources to stewardship groups that are organized, but lack resources. Digital tools can leverage this data for social networking, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and flows of knowledge and resources. Tools could also combine STEW-MAP data with other publicly-accessible datasets to better understand the contributions and impacts organizations are having on the environment at local and landscape scales.

Product Outcome

Agency

U.S. Forest Service

Target Audience

Public agencies, NGOs, designers, funders, researchers, students, neighborhood groups, and community organizers in locations TBD (may include NYC, Baltimore, San Juan, PR, and North Kona, Hawaii)