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Tribal Analytics Institute
21 March 2006
By Tiffany Hodge, TAI Community Research Specialist

      The Tribal Analytics Institute, a 2-year grant project funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Administration for Native Americans (ANA), opened its doors on September 1, 2004. The Institute, located in the Human Resource Building on the United Tribes Technical College campus in Bismarck, North Dakota, was established to provide Nation Building strategies and culturally appropriate sustainable development concepts to expand organizational and management capacity building activities and to enhance community based program delivery systems and services.

      The Institute provides assistance in: navigating the often confusing maze of performance measurement by developing replicable; culturally appropriate and evaluative criteria for Tribal Nations to follow as required by the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART); development of on-line/distance education curriculum on various areas relating to tribal economic analysis and Participatory Action Research; and statistical analysis.

      TAI will visit every reservation in North Dakota to provide background information and assistance in understanding GPRA and PART.

      These areas are critical to Indian country because of the number of federal programs which have either been through the PART process or those which are being slated. Unfortunately, this includes Tribal programs. The institute's goal is to make people aware and provide technical assistance in the development and tracking of meaningful and appropriate measures of progress for tribal programs. The design for such tools would be asset-focused, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate, while tailored to meet the specific criteria of the PART assessment.

      Through research and statistical analysis TAI is providing access to information and mentors. TAI is trying to match students interested in research to mentors that can help offer advice and guidance in this area. The goal for UTTC/TAI is to help provide Indian Country with research people to help maintain the data that Tribal Nations should be in control of and have access to utilize for its members.


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