A vision for a more connected community

CSR Director Neil Carlson has had the privilege of serving since the fall of 2014 as a co-chair of the Data & Capacity Workgroup of KConnect, Kent County's collective impact backbone organization. Through many conversations, workgroup members and community partners have begun to develop a vision for a new standard-setting entity.

The Community Data Trust—a temporary name for the idea—would convene technical and legal leadership to advise community organizations how to reduce risks and costs and improve the quality and interoperability of critical data systems. Improved, interconnected systems are needed both to support aggregate analysis of our community's social and educational services, and, with appropriate consent and oversight, to support better alignment among services to individuals and families.

With broad collaboration and input, Dr. Carlson has prepared a white paper titled "Envisioning a Culture of Community Data Sharing," freely available as a publication of KConnect.

For more information about this project, please contact CSR by email ( or phone, 616 526-7799.