Sparking Collective Learning

This blog post from Sarah Plachta Elliott describes how a System of Supports and Opportunities was used by Brandeis University’s Center for Youth and Communities in six neighborhoods in Detroit, Michigan, to inform the work of the Skillman Foundation in improving the school and neighborhood conditions for children.

"Below are learning opportunities that were created with SOSO data.

  • An internal review with Foundation staff helped identify inaccuracies in participation rates and site location addresses.
  • Then two-page SOSO snapshots for each neighborhood were released.
  • Key neighborhood and youth program stakeholders were engaged in a review of findings and lifted up questions about how data were collected. This review process ensured “on the ground” validity of the analysis.
  • For full transparency, the dataset was also released to partners for system planning purposes.: (Elliott, 2012)


Elliott, S. P. (2012, March 27). [Web log message]. Retrieved from