Posts Tagged 'Civic Health'

#ADPFF 9.27.2013

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

Hello and happy #ADPFF, ADP peeps!

We didn’t post last week (sigh…) because ADP National Manager Jen Domagal-Goldman and I were at the 2013 National Conference on Citizenship at the United States Institute of Peace.

United States Institute of Peace

We were here: the United States Institute of Peace

So, this Friday, we are bringing you a couple pics and some of our favorite/thought-provoking tweets from the event. For more on what went down, discover #NCoC on Twitter.

ADP National Manager @ NCoC

ADP National Manager Jen Domagal-Goldman speaking about ADP at the 2013 NCoC

Some of the tweets/conversation-starters we favorited:

TweetTweet2Tweet1Half-Mast Flag

The flag at half-mast outside of the State Department as a show of respect for the victims of Navy Yard; NCoC also opened both days of the event with a moment of silence


Challenge Yourself: Use Civic Data to Meet Community Needs

by the National Conference on Citizenship (an ADP Partner organization)

Civic Data Challenge logoThe 2013 Civic Data Challenge launches today at the Data Visualization Summit in San Francisco. The Challenge invites participants to turn raw data about civic health into useful applications and visualizations that have direct impact on public decision-making.

Expanded version of last year’s challenge

Last year, the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation  launched the first-ever national Civic Data Challenge. Winning teams spanned the country and included undergraduate students and nonprofit leaders, financial analysts and graphic designers, developers and coders. They brought new eyes, new minds, and new skill sets to the field of civic health to help make this trove of community insight more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. For a great recap of last year’s Challenge, read Fast Company’s Visualizing Civic Data to Make the Case for Civic Health.

This year, NCoC, with the support of Knight Foundation, is launching an expanded version of the Challenge. Exciting additions to this year’s Challenge include:

  • Three Challenge phases–ideation, creation, and implementation– to help teams come together to build entries that are responsive to community needs.
  • Grand prizes to teams that create exceptionally useful products AND work with community partners to successfully implement those tools.
  • The opportunity for participants to improve entries along the way with the support of a team of expert advisors.

Submit an idea now

The Civic Data Challenge is asking community leaders, government officials, developers, coders and all interested citizens to get involved. The first step is to submit an idea through the Challenge website, from April 11 – May 19. This ideation phase is an opportunity to creative a collective brainstorm about what tools (apps, websites, videos, and infographics) could be built using civic data. These ideas will inform the parameters of the Challenge and teams will begin building entries to respond May 24 – July 28.  Join us at .

The Civic Data Challenge is supported by our launch partners at Innovation Enterprise who are organizing the Data Visualization Summit. DVSF is the world’s largest executive led data visualization summit and will be attended by Fortune 500 executives. The challenge is also supported by promotional partners at CEOs for Cities, DataKind, Data Visualization Summit and sponsors at

Upcoming Webinar: NCoC and Civic Health Partnership Opportunities

NCoC LogoCivic data is essential to measuring, understanding, and shaping how our communities and democracy are functioning. Each year, NCoC and their partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) release in-depth information on how Americans are engaged in our communities across the country.

The most recent findings show some promising trends, but also some troubling gaps in participation. Interesting findings include:

  • In 2011, the national volunteer rate reached a five-year high.
  • There were also upward trends in how often we help each other informally, by looking after each other’s kids or helping a neighbor in need.
  • However, connections to our neighbors could be stronger, as just 13.3% of Americans said that they talk with their neighbors every day and only 30.4% do so a few times a week.
  • There are other gaps in local participation in civic life. Nearly a third of Americans say they never vote in local elections, and the majority of us are not involved in any organizations or groups in our communities.
  • Social media is often cited as the new wave of political engagement, but 72.1% of Americans say they never use the Internet to express opinions on political or community issues.

This information presents an important opportunity to develop strategies at the local level that strengthen civic engagement. NCoC currently works with partners in 30 communities to help make this data meaningful. These partners tell the story of what this data means, give context to the findings, and put forward recommendations on what can be done to strengthen civic life.

Want to learn more about how to bring this data to your community? Join NCoC for a webinar presentation on civic health partnership opportunities on March 27th, 2-3 PM Eastern.


The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is a non-partisan nonprofit chartered by Congress in 1953 to advance the nation’s civic life.

What We’re Watching: Happy

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

ImageAfter recently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (highly recommend by the way), I have found myself a bit preoccupied with research on the subject of happiness. My quest for more information and a lack of cable led me to the documentary section on Netflix, which I am nearly convinced is going to ruin the productivity of my twenties.

Anyway, it was on the Netflix app that I digitally stumbled upon Happy—a documentary film that takes the viewer, per IMDB, on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Although the stories of and interviews with the individuals living in these various locations, along with insight from leading scientists on happiness research (that sounds like a fun job), make the film worth viewing, those of you whose pulses quicken at all things civic may draw an additional smile from it.

As Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion, a family living in a co-housing community in Denmark shares their experiences with it and the joy derived from it. Very Bowling Alone, I would imagine most of you will nod your head in agreement with the family about the importance of community and place to our emotional and civic health.

So if you find yourself with some down time this weekend, give Happy a try (and then get off Netflix and go read a book–that was mainly a note to self).


What We’re Reading: Millennials Civic Health Index

The Millennials Civic Health Index, recently released by four of the top civic organizations in the country, paints a comprehensive picture of young Americans 18 to 29 (AKA Millennials).

The study challenges commonly held beliefs about a generation of young Americans whose votes played a critical role in November’s presidential election. The report highlights the diverse ways in which Millennials are taking action in their communities beyond the voting booth, online and offline, across different regions of the United States.

The report, produced by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, and, begins with a glass-half-full/glass-half-empty introduction to the civic health of Millennials and presents positive statistics and areas for growth.

The full press release and PDF version of the report can be found here.

ADP at UCO Takes State’s Civic Pulse

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

Oklahoma Civic Health IndexThe American Democracy Project at the University of Central Oklahoma, in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and Oklahoma Campus Compact, has just released the 2012 Oklahoma Civic Health Index, which is focused on civic skills and voter education. The report looks at a broad set of indicators for civic participation both across the state and relative to national trends.

The first Oklahoma civic health index was produced by the partnered research teams in 2010.

The 2012 report, which was presented at the Oklahoma State Capitol on December 4, highlighted some of the conclusions reached by the research teams. One of the primary ones being that although there is still room for increased engagement, progress has been made since 2010. In fact, despite ranking 30th in the nation for discussing politics or 44th in regard to voter registration rates, Oklahoma ranks eighth in eating dinner with family and 20th in volunteerism.

For a synopsis of key findings, read the Edmond Sun’s article online.

UCO’s American Democracy Project plays a pivotal role in UCO’s civic health work. Patricia Loughlin, director of UCO’s ADP informed the Edmond Sun that, “We see value in exploring the civic health of Oklahoma through the lens of civic skills and voter education, and hope this report encourages new dialogue and action across the state. We invite everyone to invest in the civic health of Oklahoma’s citizens and communities as we prepare the next generation of informed and engaged citizens and leaders of our democracy.”

The University of Central Oklahoma is also a key participant in ADP’s Campus and Community Civic Health Initiative, a partnership with NCoC. As part of this initiative, UCO and the 24 other participating colleges and universities, will measure and work to improve aspects of campus and local community civic health.

For the full report, you can download the civic health index and take a look at the Oklahoma Civic Health infographic by clicking here.

Read a previous blog post about UCO’s 2010 civic health work here.

What We’re Reading: The Volunteering and Civic Life in America Fact Sheet

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

CNCS_Brand_newNCoC LogoThe Volunteering and Civic Life in America website, sponsored by a partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and ADP partner the National Conference on Citizenship (NCOC), has just released new research in the form of a volunteering and civic engagement fact sheet. The site hosts the most comprehensive annual collection of information on Volunteering and Civic Life in America.

A summary of the information reports the following:

Volunteering and civic engagement are the cornerstone of a strong nation. Citizens working together and talking to each other help solve problems and make their communities better places to live and work. In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years. 64.3 million Americans volunteered approximately 7.9 billion hours, valued at $171 billion. Two out of three citizens (65.1%, or 143.7 million citizens) served their communities by doing favors for and helping out their neighbors; more than half (56.7%) trusted all or most of the people in their neighborhood. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America data is the most comprehensive source of volunteering and civic engagement information assembled, thanks to a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America Fact Sheet covers the key findings and highlights from the most recent 2011 data.

Download the fact sheet here.

Also, given that we recently wrote about data visualization, it is worth nothing that this website hosts a fabulous data graphic (“infographic”). Its interactive map of the United States allows users to view state-by-state report data regarding how often residents of a state volunteer, eat dinner with their families, and discuss politics.

Being a fairly recent transplant to the East Coast, I am always interested to see how my native state is doing, both on its own and comparatively. The interactive map of the United States provided on the site offers a state-by-state highlight of report data.

For example, in Colorado—where our June 6-8, 2013 national meeting will also occur—in 2011:

  • 32.6% of residents volunteer, ranking them 13th among the 50 states and Washington, DC
  • 36.5 volunteer hours per resident
  • 69.1% do favors for their neighbors
  • 92.5% eat dinner with their family a few times a week or more
  • 56.7% discuss politics a few times a month or more
  • 1.29 million volunteers
  • 144.9 million hours of service
  • $3.4 billion of service contributed

Meanwhile, in D.C.:

  • 27.2% of residents volunteer, ranking them 26th among the 50 states and Washington, DC
  • 32.7 volunteer hours per resident
  • 61.5% do favors for their neighbors
  • 78.2% eat dinner with their family a few times a week or more
  • 68.9% discuss politics a few times a month or more
  • 138,170 volunteers
  • 16.6 million hours of service
  • $423.3 million of service contributed

Head to the site to download the fact sheet and check the state of your state’s civic health today.

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