Whether writing a needs statement, developing your proposal’s evaluation section, or looking for evidence-based practices, the World Wide Web has innumerable sources for the grant professional. Here are several that I’ve found helpful.
National Resource Centers. A search of the web finds dozens of National Resource Centers for numerous issues and program areas. Following are a few of the major ones as examples, but do a search for National Resource Center (your issue) to see if you find information you can use. Some are government sponsored, some are private, and they’re of varying quality but all provide useful information for research.
- National Child Welfare Resource Centers. Links to 13 centers including adoption, child protective services, organizational improvement, legal and judicial issues, child welfare data, family centered practice and youth development. http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/helpkids/centers.htm
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violencehttp://www.nrcdv.org
- National Resource and Training Center on Homelessness and Mental Illnesshttp://www.nrchmi.samhsa.gov
- National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification http://www.usc.edu/dept/gero/nrcshhm
The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab
FedStats is devoted to statistical information from over 100 federal agencies. The statistics can be searched by agency, topic or geographic area. www.fedstats.gov
Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation has state by state statistics on children’s issues. www.kidscount.org
Economic Statistics Briefing Room provides links to information produced by a number of Federal agencies on employment. income, international, money, output, prices, production and transportation. http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/esbr.html
Social Statistics Briefing Room provides links to information produced by a number of Federal agencies on crime, demographics, education and health. http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/ssbr.html
The National Center for Education Statistics is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. http://nces.ed.gov
Statistics at the State and Local Levels on the FirstGov web site links to statistics and facts on 14 government web sites. http://www.firstgov.gov/Government/State_Local/Statistics.shtml
General reference government statistics on the FirstGov web site can be found by scrolling down on the left side of the home page to the "Reference Center" and click onto "Data and Statistics". http://www.firstgov.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/Data.shtml
University of Michigan Documents Center "Statistical Resources on the Web"www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/stats.html This web site is very helpful and broken down by topic to make it easier to access statistics.
Assessing Community Needs - Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit center for research that provides data to inform decision-making on the changing workforce, changing family and changing community. http://www.familiesandwork.org/
American Evaluation Association – Association of evaluators devoted to application and exploration of program and personnel evaluation, technology and other forms of evaluation. http://www.eval.org
The Evaluation Exchange is an online magazine from the Harvard Family Research Project, with articles written by the most prominent evaluators in the field.
Community Toolbox - Developed by the University of Kansas, this online guide addresses practical work on promoting community health and development has an excellent evaluation section at:
Innovation Network is a nonprofit organization working to share planning and evaluation tools and know-how. Their 'Repair Center' helps organizations improve, create and download surveys, interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, data collection and analysis tools. http://www.innonet.org
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly research literature. http://scholar.google.com
FindArticles.com Articles from popular magazines and newspapers online, many for free. http://findarticles.com
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonprofit behavioral and social science research consulting organization. Their list of publications on various topics is a wonderful place to begin a literature review. http://www.air.org
Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation is an on-line journal of refereed articles on education. http://pareonline.net
The U.S. Department of Education Publications allows you to search for publications by keyword. http://www.edpubs.org/webstore/content/search.asp
U.S. Bureau of Census has allows you to create queries and tables showing percentages that compare national, state and local statistics. It is also the basic portal to the numerous more specific sites listed below. www.census.gov
- American Factfinder gives you direct access to the Census Bureau databases and can create a detailed table for any geographic area, from a state down to a census tract. http://factfinder.census.gov
- USA Counties --Almost 6,000 data items for all counties
- State and Metropolitan Area Data Book --Comprehensive data for states and metropolitan areas http://www.census.gov/compendia/smadb/
- State & County QuickFacts -- Quick, easy access to Census facts about people, business, and geography. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/
- County & City Databook Population and housing data at the local level.
CensusScope is an easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends, from the University of Michigan. http://www.ssdan.net/
City-Data.Com - Information on American cities, top 100 lists, etc. www.city-data.com You can get zip code level information at www.city-data.com/zips/xxxxx.html (insert the actual zip code in place of the x's).
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press http://people-press.org
The Gallup Organization http://www.gallup.com
Harris Interactive: Provides write-up articles of polling results
The Roper Center is an archive of polls conducted by leading survey research organizations.
There are of course thousands of government agency web sites. In addition to the ones listed above, here are some portals with links to many other sites.
FirstGov- The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal gives access to almost all other federal websites, including agencies. www.firstgov.gov
State and Local government on the Net - Directory of official state, county and city government websites, with links. http://www.statelocalgov.net/
State of the Cities Data Systems -- HUD website with data for individual metropolitan areas, central cities and suburbs. http://socds.huduser.org
CDC Wonder provides a single point of access to reports and public health data. http://wonder.cdc.gov
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