Boosting Upward Mobility: A Planning Guide for Local Action (Step 6)

  • Project Home
  • Step 1: Our Approach to Upward Mobility
  • Step 2: Use Mobility Metrics to Surface Insights
  • Step 3: Ensure Your Local Government Is Ready to Undertake This Work
  • Step 4: Build Your Coalition for Systems Change
  • Step 5: Develop an Initial Understanding of Local Mobility Conditions
  • Step 6: Build a Fuller Picture of Mobility Conditions in Your Community
  • Step 7: Determine Your Strategic Actions
  • Step 8: Develop Your Measurement Plan and Consider Sustainability
  • Step 9: Finalize and Release Your Mobility Action Plan
  • Step 10: Sustain Momentum
  • Acknowledgements
  • Body

    Step 6: Build a Fuller Picture of Mobility Conditions in Your Community


    In the previous step, your Mobility Coalition reviewed the Mobility Metrics as a group and started to collect supplemental quantitative data to build an initial understanding of local mobility issues. Step 6 focuses on deepening that understanding to build a fuller picture of mobility conditions in your community. Think of this process like putting together a puzzle; each data source represents a different puzzle piece, and you get closer to seeing the entire puzzle by assembling as many pieces as you can.

    Now that you have your Mobility Metrics puzzle piece and some of your supplemental quantitative data puzzle pieces, you need to assemble information from other sources, such as historical records about policies and programs that may have created structural barriers to equity and mobility from poverty; program evaluations; qualitative information gleaned from surveys, focus groups, and other community and stakeholder engagement activities; ecosystem maps that show networks and relationships between organizations in the mobility from poverty ecosystem; and narratives that underpin systems of power and oppression. Assembling insights from these different data sources will help you

    • gather deeper insights about outcomes you see in the Mobility Metrics data,
    • understand how community members would prioritize local needs,
    • build trust with communities who have lost trust in government,
    • learn about what harmful narratives are being used to rationalize certain policies or inaction,
    • understand what systems are creating and sustaining inequities,
    • learn about your community’s assets and strengths, and
    • make the case for selecting strategic actions.

    Each substep below presents activities for effectively gathering the information you’ll need to meet the above goals. You may not need to do all these anew for this work as some of this information may exist already from other initiatives. You should consult the Mobility Coalition members to learn about what insights are already available and which you feel will be the most helpful to gain to learn more about conditions in your community.