ALBUQUERQUE ― New Mexico First, a nonpartisan organization committed to engaging New Mexicans in public policy and civic life, has released a report on Building a New Mexico Infrastructure for Data-Informed Decision-Making.
It is important to recognize there is not a “one-size-fits-all” strategy.
If data are to contribute meaningfully to decision-making in New Mexico’s diverse communities, they need to be responsive to a variety of contexts, concerns, methodologies and requirements. Interviews with eight New Mexican data centers, housed variously in for-profit, not-for-profit and public organizations, forms the basis for an inventory of New Mexican resources as a first step.
Wendy Wintermute, report author and New Mexico First Project SHARE program director, notes, “More communities across New Mexico are recognizing the advantage of using data to help make decisions for policies and programs. When the right kind of data are identified, properly analyzed and the results shared with the public, these data resources can help tell a more accurate story about community. This information can help chart a path towards achieving community goals.”
The report addresses key questions, including:
- Who is currently providing data to inform policies and programs?
- How are these centers collecting and communicating information that can be readily understood and applied to pressing community concerns?
- What models we can learn from and/or adapt to meet specific issues and contexts?
Allan Oliver, Executive Director of the Thornburg Foundation, which funded the study, spoke about the importance of investing in strategies to promote data-informed decision making. “Big data already drives decision-making in the private sector. We have consistently heard requests from public policymakers for better data so they can make more informed policy decisions, and better serve New Mexicans. NM First’s report provides a smart initial landscape view of data-focused organizations across the state, and an understanding about the appetite for building a stronger statewide data infrastructure.”
Lilly Irvin-Vitela, MCRP and President of New Mexico First, believes that “By managing and sharing data and information in ways that democratize knowledge, communities can gain greater tools to co-create stronger and healthier outcomes.”
Development of this report was made possible with a grant from the Thornburg Foundation, a funder of New Mexico First’s work on open government. Wendy Wintermute, Ph.D., SHARE Program Director, was the lead author on this report.
New Mexico First builds consensus on critical issues facing our state and communities and leads positive policy change through deliberative town halls, forums, and nonpartisan work on education, the economy, healthcare, natural resources and, good governance.