City of Oakland Human Services Department
Oakland Community Stressor Index
In 2019, the Oakland Human Services Department (HSD) contracted RDA to update its Community Stressors Index, which provides a snapshot of multiple risk factors on community stress. The index captures 21 stressor indicators across a range of domains, including health and environment, housing, education, and criminal justice system involvement.
In identifying and prioritizing stress indicators to include in the Oakland Stressors Index, HSD and RDA sought indicators for which credible, reliable data could feasibly be obtained and for which there was strong evidence of the indicator’s high impact on community stress. Equally important, we prioritized indicators that could meaningfully inform City of Oakland strategies, priorities, or programming. Once indicators were selected, RDA analyzed administrative and secondary data from a wide variety of local and national sources. For each census tract within Oakland, RDA calculated a z-score for each stressor indicator where data were available. A z-score measures how far away a data point is from the overall average. A positive z-score indicates that the census tract had an estimate that is higher (i.e., more stressed) than the average across all census tracts, while a negative z-score indicates that the census tract had an estimate that is lower (i.e., less stressed) than the overall average. To calculate the cumulative effect of all indicators, RDA averaged z-scores across all indicators to obtain a cumulative average z-score for each individual census tract. The cumulative average z-score was then used to rank the census tracts according to their cumulative level of stress.
This rank helps HSD and its stakeholders to understand the relative levels of community stress across the City of Oakland. To aid the City in widely disseminating this information to a variety of audiences, RDA developed an interactive Community Stressors Map with accompanying methodological notes, both of which are now publicly available on the City of Oakland’s website. Through this project, RDA has equipped the City of Oakland to develop data-driven decisions and strategic planning for place-based interventions and allocation of resources.
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“RDA has provided exemplary support for the Contra Costa County Adult Education Consortium for the past three+ years. Their professional approaches and skills have facilitated challenging partnership and organizational discussions while assisting our consortium to successfully meet every programmatic and compliance milestone. We consider their organization an integral part of our own, as well as our success. Thank you RDA!”
Senior Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Diablo Valley College
Contra Costa County Adult Education Consortium
"Rubicon has reaped many benefits through partnering with RDA over the last several years. RDA delivers stellar project management, proposal writing, and facilitation services. The RDA team provides an optimal balance of organization, accountability, and personability that makes partnerships easy and effective. If a funding proposal or project convening is entrusted to RDA, you can be certain you are in good hands!"
Dr. Carole Dorham-Kelly
President and CEO - Rubicon Programs
"We can't thank Gina Martinez and Stephanie Bimar enough for their compassionate support and guidance while NAMI-Santa Clara County navigates our faith leader grant in the midst of a pandemic. Gina and Stephanie are professional, highly skilled and dedicated to supporting mental health transformation; and they go the extra mile to serve their clients. We highly recommend them to any company or agency in need of data gathering and reporting."
Team Lead, FaithNet Program - NAMI Santa Clara County
"The RDA team was such a help for us all these years. They took care of every piece of our evaluation and produced reports that were very high-quality and thorough. The RDA team was always very accommodating of our data challenges and always did their best to help us make use of what they discovered. RDA was a partner with our program."
Program Director, Assisted Outpatient Program (AOT)
Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services
"The Santa Cruz County Probation Department has enjoyed working with RDA over the past 4 years and found their staff to be exceptionally professional and highly dedicated to helping my department use data to illustrate successes and identify areas for improvement. They produce high quality and accurate reports, which help us use data to inform policy and practice change. I highly recommend them."
Chief Probation Officer - Santa Cruz County Probation Department
"We have partnered with RDA on research, evaluation, technical assistance, and grant writing projects and have had overwhelming success. A strong working relationship drives our ability to develop effective planning and implementation strategies. They listen, adapt, guide and bring a tremendous amount of expertise and focus to our collaborative efforts."
Chief Executive Officer - San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project
“RDA always produces high quality, thoughtful and valuable work products for CIBHS as a customer. A recent stakeholder input project for the Bay Area received high praise from our county partners. The team is approachable, responsive and flexible. RDA has the ability to interpret the needs you have for a project and design something impactful that reflects your intended vision. I would highly recommend RDA for your next evaluation project.”