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Facts That Matter Blog

At the ncIMPACT Initiative, we ground our research in the challenges faced by North Carolina’s state and local leaders and their communities. Through compelling story telling, the Facts That Matter blog shares data and evidence about collaborative problem solving efforts that chart a path forward in communities across the state. We share these stories for the benefit of other communities in pursuit of our mission to improve the lives of North Carolinians.






April 10, 2020

Mental Health & Incarceration – Stepping Up Initiative

When individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) are incarcerated, they tend to stay longer in jails and have higher rates of recidivism than those without a diagnosis.

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April 8, 2020

Strengthening Human Services through Social Capital

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, RTI International, and the ncIMPACT Initiative at the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill partnered together on the project, which seeks to understand how local, state, faith-based, and nonprofit human services programs and organizations can create and use social capital to increase employment, reduce poverty, and improve child and family wellbeing.

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April 1, 2020

Mitigating the Risk for Falling through the Cracks: Strengthening the Census Response Rate

In capturing data on everyone once every decade, the Census is a handy tool on which many of us base our research, programming, and communication. The Census has been around for 117 years, and every decade we see the stark differences in our composition from the decade before. Across many dimensions, the Census measures the pace of change for the country as a whole, each state as a whole, and any local community. In order for us to react to our changing surroundings, we must first know in what ways it is changing—this is the value of the Census.

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April 1, 2020

A Note to Human Services Programs: Four More Practices for Building Social Capital During COVID-19

As you read through the following additional social capital practices, remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach to helping participants build social capital in a human services program.  Every program has a different context with different values and goals. You, the program managers and directors, know best the population you are trying to serve. That said, here are some questions and practices that might help you.

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March 31, 2020

A Note to Human Services Programs: Three Practices for Building Social Capital During COVID-19

As you read through the following social capital practices, remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach to helping participants build social capital in a human services program.  Every program has a different context and different values and goals. You, the program managers and directors, know best the population you are trying to serve. That said, here are some questions and practices that might help you.

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March 31, 2020

A Note to Human Services Agencies: Think About What Type of Social Capital You Most Need to Build Online

As human service agencies help program participants take social capital activities online, it is important to be clear about the purpose for the social capital – what program-related purpose does it seek to serve?

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March 31, 2020

A Note to Human Services Programs: You Can Still Build Social Connections in a Time of Social Isolation

There is a cost to social isolation, and many of us have spent our first weeks of social distancing fighting against loneliness by using virtual platforms, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Webex, Talky.io, Facebook groups, and Instagram as our means of being together. We are working hard to minimize our sense of loss by trading in our usual face-to-face connections for virtual ones. We are finding ways to continue building and leveraging our social capital online.

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March 27, 2020

Opioid Response Project Team Spotlight: Transylvania County

The Transylvania team’s work throughout the Opioid Response Project faced challenges, but the benefits have been many.

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March 23, 2020

Emerging Healthcare Technologies in the Time of COVID-19

Several advantages to telehealth have surfaced as critical during COVID-19.

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March 2, 2020

The Dos and Don’ts of Working in Rural Communities

Those working in rural communities often come across situations in which it may be unclear what the next step is or how to go about that next step.

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