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- Published: 2021
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program presents an opportunity to strengthen state-tribal collaboration while implementing evidence-based home visiting services in tribal communities. The federal program funds states, territories, jurisdictions, or nonprofits, which then typically contract with local implementing agencies (LIAs) to deliver home visiting services. Awardees may decide to work alongside tribal communities to provide home visiting services and comply with legislated requirements of collecting and reporting performance data. A collaborative focus on data collection, management, and reporting can help tribal nations safeguard the privacy of their citizens while ensuring states and tribes can effectively use data to improve home visiting services and sustain programming.
The brief describes three principles to guide collaborations around data practice. It includes implementation strategies, case studies, and additional resources to support collaboration.
Key Findings and Highlights
State MIECHV awardees and tribal LIAs can use the following three principles to strengthen their collaboration around data practices:
- Transparency: A transparent relationship is one with visibility and accessibility of information and expectations. Transparent relationships between awardees and tribal LIAs allow both parties to develop a shared understanding of their interactions. State MIECHV awardees can promote transparency by partnering with tribal LIAs to establish formal agreements, memoranda of understanding (MOU), or contracts.
- Ongoing communication: Communication between awardees and tribal LIAs should be open, continuous, and authentic. To support authentic communication, it may be helpful to establish boundaries and ground rules so that participants safely can express honest views and opinions during discussions. Frequently sharing data and discussing the results can help promote ongoing, authentic communication between state MIECHV awardees and tribal LIAs.
- Reciprocal relationships: Built on shared goals, reciprocal relationships are mutually beneficial to awardees and tribal LIAs. Shared goals can lead to buy-in and collaboration because both parties are valued as equal and interdependent partners. Bringing in tribal community members (e.g., tribal leaders, family service providers, families) to help interpret and understand performance data can help ensure that findings are locally relevant and credible. A shared understanding of the data allows the tribal LIA and awardee to work together to best meet the needs of families in the community.
The brief draws on technical assistance (TA) providers’ experiences supporting tribal communities, awardee reflections from the State-LIA Collaboration Community of Practice (CoP), and existing resources, such as A Roadmap for Collaborative and Effective Evaluation in Tribal Communities.
Clark, M. (2020). State-tribal collaboration in home visiting: Lessons learned for improving data collection and utilization. OPRE Report #2020-167. Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.