Data-driven Investments

Grounded in the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative goals, HSD has committed to making results-based investments, supported by performance data and our goal that people of color do not experience disparities in their ability to achieve, to fund those community providers and nonprofit organizations that demonstrate an ability to effectively serve those most in need. The staff at HSD works every day to ensure the City's resources are being leveraged for maximum positive impact on Seattle's population. HSD takes seriously its responsibility to spend the public's money wisely and has developed strategies to ensure that the most critical human service needs are met by:

Defining the desired results for the department's investments;

Aligning the department's resources to achieve those results; and

Monitoring the community's progress towards those achievements to ensure return on investment.

This results-based accountability "Outcomes Framework" helps HSD move from ideas to action to ensure that our work and investments are making a real difference in the lives of vulnerable people. The table below lists results we want to achieve and the data indicators we are tracking that would indicate successes in each of our six investment areas:

HSD Investment AreaWhat We Want to AchieveHow We Know
Preparing Youth for Success All youth in Seattle successfully transition to adulthood.
  • # arrest/incident referrals for youth and young adults ages 10-17 and filings for ages 18-24
  • % of youth with on-time high school graduation
  • % of youth who are either in school or working
  • % of third graders who are meeting reading standards
  • % of youth connected to school or their community
Supporting Affordability and Livability All people living in Seattle are able to meet their basic needs.
  • % of people experiencing food insecurity
  • % of people living in poverty
Addressing Homelessness All people living in Seattle are housed.
  • % of people living unsheltered
  • % of people paying more than 30% of their income towards housing
  • % returns to homelessness
Promoting Public Health All people living in Seattle experience moderate to optimum health conditions.
  • % of uninsured adults 18-64
  • % of people with an unmet health need due to cost
  • % of people reporting dependence or abuse of illicit drugs or alcohol
  • % of people HIV positive
Responding to Gender-Based Violence All people living in Seattle are free from gender-based violence.
  • % of domestic violence crime
  • % of sexual assault crime rates
  • % of youth dating violence
Promoting Healthy Aging All older adults experience stable health and are able to age in place.
  • % of older adults who report getting the social and emotional support needed
  • % of older adults reporting good or excellent health
  • % of older adults experiencing chronic disease

This is part of HSD's Theory of Change - particularly around addressing racial disparities - which shows the logical link between the desired long-term goals and the services we invest in, by working backwards to identify the conditions that must be in place for these goals to be achieved, how we will know we have been successful, and what proven strategies help to improve those conditions. View a presentation of how this theory of change works in our department.