About Data: Program Mapping
Program mapping is essential to statewide afterschool networks as we are policy coalitions, and policymakers need the information because statewide statistics do not tell the whole story. Mapping programs is also a preparatory step to identifying critical gaps in service. Policymakers want to know:
- What is the supply?
- What is the demand?
- Where are they located AND not available?
- What programs are in my district?
Through major providers, regional systems and online self-identification, mapping can be a grassroots engagement opportunity for the network and the beginning step in a longer-term relationship on policy and practice initiatives.
- Mapping by race, ethnicity and schools in need of improvement adds additional texture to important statistical questions of need.
- Fewer than 25 percent of the families that want afterschool and expanded learning programs for their children are able to take advantage of them. Identifying the programs that exist is a resource to parents looking for programs for their children.
- Web tools for program profiling and program description are effective for engaging programs funded outside of the major funding streams.
- To strengthen school-based programs, schools need to know what community-based providers are serving the community and to establish cooperative relationships.
Strategies to Support Data: Program Mapping
- Identify major funding streams and provider groups to find a significant percent of programs in the state.
- Determine program locations of community-based funders, such as United Ways, community foundations, schools and city parks and recreation departments.
- Gather and aggregate information of community systems.
- Provide a Web-based tool to collect information on the ‘unaffiliated’ programs.
- Consider the priorities of legislators for the compelling question of need for afterschool and expanded learning programs based on the values that afterschool programs provide for students.
- Overlay other ‘indicators of need’ such as poverty, drop out, long term unemployment, health, school performance and access (or lack thereof). Next, profile programs in the area and their benefits. Additionally, document the low level of access for children who need and want afterschool, and where programs do not exist at all.