Co-Designing Data Protocols for Local Care Networks in Seattle and Boston to Enhance Crisis Resilience

Municipal governments and community organizations – including mutual and direct aid groups – often struggle to effectively collaborate before and during crisis events. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a strong disconnect between these two sectors in their coordination and response to multiple crises that face vulnerable populations. In this pilot project we will develop a process for community-based data protocols that can enable municipal governments and community groups to optimize the value of shared data, as well as mutually agree upon its limits, for the multi-sectoral provision of care in response to crises. Our pilot project will create both a process for developing community data protocols and pilot the use of data protocols through a comparative research and design process across two metropolitan regions: Boston and Seattle. The process focuses on three domains of care provision: (1) emergency food distribution; (2) digital inequity; and (3) vaccine distribution. Working in both Boston and Seattle invites comparative research within and across topical domains and provides context for understanding what basic elements should be in any data protocol intended to facilitate interaction between municipal governments and their communities.

Grant Info


Nicholas Weber


Carl Bergstrom


National Science Foundation (NSF)

Start Date

Jan 1, 2020