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Developing collaborative partnerships with state agencies to strengthen research using early care and education administrative data

Collaborative partnerships between researchers and agency staff are mutually beneficial, and they respect and build upon the specific expertise of each partner. While collaborative partnerships may take time to develop, they not only improve the feasibility and quality of research using administrative data but also support the applicability of research to inform policy and practice. Working together, researchers and agency staff can co-construct research questions that address issues related to program operations, policies, or pressing issues in the field that can be adequately answered with administrative data. The purpose of this resource is to offer ideas to researchers about how to build relationships with state partners to facilitate the effective use of administrative data for research and to inform policy. Different contexts, histories, and institutional capacities require distinct approaches to collaboration, so we offer researchers a range of possible strategies for establishing a partnership with state agency staff. This is the first in a series of three resources designed to help researchers interested in using administrative data. The other briefs in this series are entitled Determining the Feasibility of Using State Administrative Data and Considerations in Preparing to Analyze Administrative Data to Address Early Care and Education Related Research Questions. (author abstract)
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