Esri's Social Equity Analysis tool allows equity analysts to combine smart maps and community data to assess local conditions, evaluate decision-making scenarios and measure progress toward equity goals.
State and local governments conducting racial equity and social justice analysis can now tap GIS software to evaluate community opportunities for education, employment, healthy food, affordable health care and safe housing.
Esri, the location intelligence firm, has partnered with Race Forward's Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and local government leaders to create the Social Equity Analysis solution. The GIS-based tool allows equity analysts to combine smart maps and community data to assess local conditions, evaluate decision-making scenarios and measure progress toward equity goals.
The Social Equity Analysis software works with Esri's ArcGIS products so users can upload assets, condition or outcome data, filter it for specific areas and determine a community condition rate for each given geography. The software also generates an equity analysis index, which is a map that shows where the highest need exists for the specified community condition and characteristics selected.
More specifically, users can:
- Identify specific populations by race, ethnicity, language, sex, age or other factors and see how those groups are distributed across a geographic area.
- Understand the distribution of benefits or burdens by ranking community indicators (e.g., community conditions, resources, harms or outcomes) by geographic region.
- Understand benefits or burdens for specific population groups after identifying a set of community indicators.
- Regularly evaluate progress toward equity goals through ongoing monitoring of benefits and burdens within specific populations or geographic regions.
Besides producing indexes with community data, users can also apply custom or weighted variables, Esri officials said.
Through its partnership with GARE, Esri worked with representatives in the City and County of Denver; City and County of Durham, N.C.; Fairfax County, Va.; Milwaukee County, Wis.; and San Antonio, Texas. These representatives helped identify critical steps for advancing equity across a range of domains, including education, employment, health, housing, and safety and guided Esri's development team in building the solution, company officials said.
"Our racial equity experts, working inside government, provided key considerations toward building a tool to visualize complex on-the-ground decisions," said Raintry Salk, GARE research manager and project lead for the Esri partnership. "This new tool simultaneously provides greater rigor, functionality, flexibility, and sophistication to our shared desire to advance racial equity."
With the Social Equity Analysis solution, governments have a geographic, data-driven approach for creating and monitoring policies and programs that are designed to address community needs and ensure equity.
"This new solution will help public and private sector leaders reveal patterns of need and find opportunities to advance social equity at the intersections of geography, race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and more." Esri Racial Equity and Social Justice Lead Clinton Johnson said.