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Town of Fairfield News

4/9/2018 - Fairfield Residents Encouraged to "Pick Up the Phone!" for Largest-Ever Community Wellbeing Survey

The Town’s Health Department encourages the 250 randomly-selected Fairfield residents to participate in the 2018 State-Wide Community Wellbeing Survey’s live, in-depth phone interviews which are being conducted in every community in the State this spring and summer. The survey serves as the key component of the Fairfield Health Department’s Community Health Assessment which it is required to conduct.

Residents throughout Connecticut and several areas of New York State will receive phone calls from survey-takers at the Siena College Research Institute - generally appearing as a 203 or 518 area code this spring and summer. Over 80 different questions will be asked by the survey-takers who are helping DataHaven, the nonprofit group leading the collection and study of neighborhood-level public data on key social and economic indicators. A record number of participants will pick up the phone - over 15,000 - by the time the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey is complete.

Mark Abraham, Executive Director of DataHaven stated, "Our initial feedback from residents and our previous experience with this survey shows that people like to answer these questions. They are answering questions about their own happiness and health, their family's financial security, and how their communities and neighborhoods are faring.” He added that picking up the phone, "Make(s) a difference in help(ing) your community learn more about your needs.”

DataHaven announced the first statewide Community Wellbeing Survey in 2015 (see https://www.ctphilanthropy.org/news/datahaven-announces-completion-largest-ever-survey-neighborhood-level-quality-life-health-and). The 2016 Survey Results for Fairfield County can be viewed here: http://ctdatahaven.org/sites/ctdatahaven/files/DataHaven_FairfieldCounty_Wellbeing.pdf.

Unlike most statewide and national surveys, the DataHaven program brings together grassroots efforts across the state, effectively unifying dozens of existing regional surveys into a single, exceptionally high-quality program that covers the entire state. The mission of the initiative is to produce reliable neighborhood-level information on issues that are most meaningful to local residents, and to foster collaboration between the hundreds of organizations, institutions, businesses, and agencies that are working to build stronger communities. This nationally recognized program provides neighborhood- and regional-level information not available from any other source on community vitality, health, family economic security, and individual happiness. Other topics such as civic engagement, transportation, housing, and employment - even satisfaction with government and community life - are included.

The 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey will allow unprecedented tracking of regional and local trends over the past three years, as well as create an even more in-depth portrait of Connecticut’s neighborhoods, when updated results are shared this fall.

"We believe the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey, the most comprehensive local-level survey of its type in the United States, will continue to be of great value to neighborhoods and organizations striving to make our cities and towns even better places to live and work," says Mr. Abraham.

Results from the survey will be published in a series of local and statewide reports throughout 2018 and 2019, helping to shed light on progress being made toward community priorities, including financial security for families, access to affordable health care, public health and safety, and opportunities for children to succeed, as well as on current challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, housing instability, and limited transportation options. Dozens of reports and studies have used data from the Community Wellbeing Survey, including many that are posted on the DataHaven website.

DataHaven designed the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey with support from over 120 government, academic, health care, and community partners, about 75 of whom are supplying funding for its expansion.

“The ability to collect and track community-level data over time helps Connecticut’s philanthropic organizations more deeply understand the issues they aim to address, target solutions, and measure progress made over time,” said Karla Fortunato, president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. “We’re delighted to see so many philanthropic and other organizations come together to support DataHaven’s work to understand how Connecticut’s residents experience quality of life, health, and happiness, neighborhood by neighborhood."

Privacy Protection:
As with other surveys of this type, the survey is anonymous and confidential, and the responses are aggregated in order to produce community-level information, never to try to identify an individual. Names are never collected. In order to further protect privacy, the individual responses are not to be used by qualified public health departments or researchers to help describe community-level conditions until they are further de-identified. For example, information such as the name of the town where the respondent lives and/or the specific age and other demographics provided by the respondent are removed from the data set. This also helps to ensure that the information can never be used to describe any specific individual, only to describe town- or neighborhood-level characteristics.

For more details and interviews, please contact Mark Abraham at 203.500.7059, info@ctdatahaven.org or Josephine Ankrah at 203.668.1371, ankrahj2@southernct.edu.

About DataHaven:
DataHaven is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a 25-year history of public service to Greater New Haven and Connecticut. DataHaven's mission is to improve quality of life by collecting, sharing, and interpreting public data for effective decision-making. Since 1992, DataHaven has worked with area organizations and agencies to develop reports and tools that make information more useful to the community. DataHaven maintains extensive economic, social, and health data, including information collected through its Community Wellbeing Survey. DataHaven is a formal partner of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a collaborative national effort by the Urban Institute and approximately 40 local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policymaking and community building. For more information, visit www.ctdatahaven.org.

DataHaven Logo Source: www.ctdatahaven.org

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Sullivan Independence Hall
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