Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a report on the progress the Biden-Harris administration has made in collecting and analyzing data to help identify disparities in federal policies and programs in order to deliver more equitable outcomes for the American people.

On his first day in office, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government, which stated that a “first step to promoting equity in government action is to gather the data necessary to inform that effort.”

Last April, in response to the President’s EO, the Equitable Data Working Group released its recommendations for how to advance equitable data across the federal government. Today’s report highlights the significant work that agencies have been doing to implement these recommendations, and support the goals of the President’s second Executive Order on advancing equity, which was signed last month.

“We are proud of the strides we have made, while recognizing that there is much work to be done,” said Denice Ross, U.S. Chief Data Scientist. “As we move forward, we remain committed to using data-driven insights to ensure that our policies and programs are rooted in equity.”

Today’s report highlights the federal government’s progress in the following areas:

  • Making disagreggated data the norm, while protecting privacy: Foundational work is underway across federal agencies to responsibly collect, generate, and analyze disaggregated data, such as data about groups reflecting race, ethnicity, gender identity, veteran status, sexual orientation, income level, disability status, rural and urban location – while protecting privacy and confidentiality.
  • Leveraging underused data: Federal agencies are making it easier for decisionmakers to find data to support an equitable data approach through practices such as data inventories and catalogs and performance dashboards.
  • Building capacity for robust equity assessment: Federal agencies are hiring new data practitioners, providing data science skills training to existing staff, and cultivating communities of practice to help staff share expertise and tools. Agencies are also incorporating the principles of equity and equitable data into their policies and plans.
  • Galvanizing diverse partnerships to provide accountability to the American people: Federal agencies have made progress in partnering with each other, state, Tribal, local, and territorial governments, civil society organizations, and the research community, to provide disaggregated data in meaningful and actionable ways. This includes sharing progress and work remaining to meet the needs of underserved communities, synchronizing data collection and use across various entities, building user-friendly tools for members of the public to access data, engaging local communities in conversations around data collection and use, and expanding opportunities for historically underrepresented scholars.


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