Rescue Plan Data and Equity Strategies Team (DEST)

The DEST team was established to support the delivery of projects funded through the $208 M American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investment package. Specifically, DEST creates and implements a unique and comprehensive performance and data management strategy.

Background and purpose

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law in 2021, sending recovery funds to local governments, states and territories in the US to best support their response and recovery from the COVID-19 public health crisis. In line with the City of Portland’s goal to center equity in their work, the 208 million dollars of State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds prioritizes people and communities “most affected by the economic and health impacts of the pandemic: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) households and workers; immigrants and refugees; people with disabilities; people experiencing houselessness; and small businesses, especially those owned by people of color.”

To best support those communities and ensure the City of Portland remained accountable to its members, City Council allocated part of this funding towards the establishment of an internal Delivery Team. The team includes project management, equity strategies analysis, data and reporting analysis, procurement, grants management, communications, and government relations capacity. As part of the Delivery Team, the Data and Equity Strategies Team creates and implements a unique and comprehensive performance and data management strategy.

The Data and Equity Strategies Team (DEST) is an interdisciplinary team with members from Bureau of Planning & Sustainability Smart City PDX, Office of Equity and Human Rights, and Office of Management & Finance.

Goals and approaches

The Data and Equity Strategies Team has four goals in their work:

  1. Create and implement a proactive, centrally coordinated performance and data management strategy.
  2. Meet federal requirements and be transparent to Portland communities.
  3. Help projects make progress towards equity outcomes.
  4. Build scalable, replicable data processes, support services, tools, and structures.

DEST supports Rescue Plan project teams throughout the entire data lifecycle. This begins with an equity toolkit for project development and selection. Reporting measures are collaboratively built with each team. All reporting measures are nested under 10 citywide equity outcomes. Data collection support, data standards, and data reviews support consistent and reliable reporting. And this all contributes to centrally accessible data to show impact and progress throughout the use of funds.

View the equity toolkit:

DEST work activities

To implement the goals and support Rescue Plan Project Teams, DEST’s scope of work includes:

  • Partner with projects to develop outcome measures and clear reporting requirements, ensuring data aligns with project scopes, intended impacts, and equitable outcome goals.
  • Create and support reporting data standards and consistent formatting of data submissions.
  • Create an equity toolkit exercise for project development, selection, and reporting measure design.
  • Provide support for data collection methods, tools, and survey design.
  • Provide office hours to support and review project data submittals. 
  • Provide direct assistance and office hours to projects regarding equity and civil rights compliance.
  • Create and manage data pipeline from quarterly submissions to community-informed Rescue Plan Open Data Portal.
  • Design and maintain the Rescue Plan Open Data Portal including new collaborative dashboards or other data visualizations.
  • Implement annual Civil Rights compliance reporting including engagement and accessibility.
  • Support quarterly and annual US Treasury reporting including implementation of disaggregated demographic and equity outcome requirements.