The Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute (known as BNIA-JFI) is a self-support research unit at the University of Baltimore whose core mission is to provide open access to meaningful, reliable, and actionable data about, and for, the City of Baltimore and its communities. BNIA-JFI builds on and coordinates the related work of citywide nonprofit organizations, city and state government agencies, neighborhoods, foundations, businesses, and universities to support and strengthen the principle and practice of well informed decision making for change toward strong neighborhoods, improved quality of life, and a thriving city.
BNIA-JFI is also a partner member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership of the Urban Institute (NNIP). NNIP is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and nearly 40 local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems in local policymaking and community building.
Our core product is Vital Signs, published annually. “Vital Signs” are groups of related data points, compiled from a variety of reliable sources, that “take the pulse” of Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Each Vital Sign comprises a set of data which, taken together, form a picture of any given neighborhood’s quality of life and overall health.
We engage in a number of custom research and data analysis projects both for our parent organization, the Jacob France Institute, and other clients. Our projects all focus on Baltimore City and its constituent neighborhoods.
We support external projects and research through assistance with custom data searches, data analysis and benchmarking, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), market and policy analysis, and training.
Each year, BNIA hosts Data Day, an annual workshop that helps communities expand their capacity to use technology and data to advance their goals. Community leaders, nonprofit organizations, governmental entities and civic-minded “hackers” come together to see the latest trends in community-based data, technology and tools and learn how other groups are using data to support and advance constructive change.
BNIA-JFI is supported by diverse groups committed to promoting, supporting, and helping people make better decisions using accurate, reliable, and accessible data and indicators to improve the quality of life in Baltimore City neighborhoods.
We also accept individual donations.
BNIA-JFI’s Steering Committee facilitated the development of the Vital Signs and continues to provide valued assistance and guidance in the operation of BNIA-JFI.
The following groups are currently part of the BNIA-JFI Steering Committee:
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore City Department of Planning
Citizens Planning and Housing Association
Associated Black Charities of Maryland
Jacob France Institute
Johns Hopkins University, Institute for Policy Studies
Morgan State University
Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore City Office of the Mayor
University of Maryland, College Park – Urban Studies and Planning Program
University of Baltimore
Family League of Baltimore City
Community Law Clinic
United Way of Central Maryland
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
Baltimore City Office of Neighborhoods
Baltimore Community Foundation
Baltimore City Health Department
Baltimore Development Corporation
Southeast Community Development Corporation
Maryland Small Business Development Center
Blue Water Baltimore
Baltimore Education Research Consortium
Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc.
Garwyn Oaks-Northwest Housing Resource Center
Neighborhood Design Center
Baltimore Impact Hub