Communicating data to drive change

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By Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO, and Lisa Hamilton, vice president of external affairs, Annie E. Casey Foundation |

Kids can’t vote. They can’t buy ads on television. They can’t form a political action committee to get what they need. They can’t speak up for themselves, and as a result they often disappear from the crowded list of political priorities competing for attention. To combat this invisibility, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has been building a project known as KIDS COUNT for more than a quarter century.

KIDS COUNT began in 1990 as a single product: a national data book comparing 10 indicators on children (including infant mortality, education expenditures, and the teenage employment rate) across the United States. The theory behind the book was that if we created an accurate, comprehensive picture of what children need, change would follow. With its ranking of outcomes by state, the foundation hoped to draw attention from the media, as well as from local, state, and national policymakers, by capitalizing on the human impulse to compete.

Learn how the Annie E. Casey Foundation has leveraged the power of information and communication to drive public investment in children and their families.

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