Equity and Inclusion
Analytics-Driven Insight to Promote Equity
Econsult Solutions is committed to making a difference in our work. In our Equity & Inclusion practice area, we marshal our analytical expertise and real-world experience to add quantitative substance and strategic nuance to diversity analyses in a wide range of sectors. We are also mindful to apply these same lenses to all of our work, since all issues have equity considerations and therefore benefit from the inclusion of that perspective through data analytics and narrative.
“I always looked to ESI for the analytical substance and strategic guidance I needed to advocate for the equitable distribution of economic opportunity to local disadvantaged businesses. ESI provided sound evidence for the availability of MWDBEs which drove our ability to set and meet robust inclusion goals on City of Philadelphia contracts.”
- Angela Dowd-Burton, CEO, DowdBurton and Assoc., & former Executive Director, Office of Economic Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
The Latest Insights
In July of 2023, ESI will examine the role that equity and inclusion plays in different areas of life across the country and in different industries. We will explore food systems, construction and development, and tourism in conversations with industry leaders. These discussions will be moderated by Frank Robinson, Vice President at Econsult Solutions and […]Read More
Econsult Solutions Inc. (ESI) was asked by SEPTA to examine the equity implications for residents of SEPTA’s proposed fare restructuring for its city transit division for FY 2021-2023. ESI undertook an analysis of the patterns in ridership and fare products utilized in order to understand changes in average costs for different communities and populations across […]Read More
ESI has developed a variety of analyses to help institutions working to ensure equitable distribution of economic and financial opportunities. We are able to marshal data, analytics, and strategic guidance to inform whether and how communities are fairly accessing employment, contract opportunities, and banking services. Learn more about our services here. We also rely on […]Read More
Disparity studies help large procuring entities understand whether and where there are differences in their utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses relative to their availability in the marketplace. Econsult Solutions knows the analytics required to estimate disparities and our methodological approaches are legally defensible. We are familiar with the policy, strategy, and institutional landscape within which actionable recommendations can be implemented to address inequities as found.
In partnership with Milligan Company, we analyzed a broad range of indicators to measure how accessible Philadelphia contracting opportunities are to women- and minority-owned businesses in the City.
For the City of Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity, Econsult Solutions has completed 12 annual studies of city government performance in procurement, construction employment, and its Economic Opportunity Plan program. Along with assessments, the studies provide actionable recommendations.
For Philadelphia Gas Works Econsult Solutions analyzed 160,000 purchase orders over a four-year period to estimate utilization of minority-owned firms, as well as their availability for engagement in the utility's key spending categories.
ESI conducted a procurement analysis to primarily observe the current utilization levels of minority- and women-owned businesses relative to their availability levels. This analysis serves as a key indicator of sectors of interest in increasing the utilization of more diverse suppliers.
The City of Harrisburg and Impact Harrisburg commissioned a disparity study completed by Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI), Milligan Consulting, LLC, and the Winston/Terrell Group. Disparity studies are designed to analyze the utilization of minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises.
Capital Access Studies
The banking industry is heavily regulated, so granular data on home lending, business lending, and branch locations is readily available. Econsult Solutions is adept at mining and analyzing this data, enabling us to help our clients answer critical questions about capital access distribution to historically disadvantaged populations and underserved neighborhoods.
New York City's Responsible Banking Act (since ruled unconstitutional) required an annual analysis of demand for financial services and authorized depository performance in supplying those services. Econsult Solutions performed this analysis producing interactive maps and data visualization tools that displayed key capital access metrics at a neighborhood and borough level.
For the past 13 years and counting, the City of Philadelphia Office of the Treasurer has turned to Econsult Solutions to conduct detailed analyses of home lending, business lending, and branch location data for the city. These analyzes include ranking the performance of authorized depositories and providing high-level commentary in the process.
Econsult Solutions performed a detailed credit needs assessment of the trade area represented by a large bank being acquired by another large bank. This assessment covered 6,400 Census tracts over 37 counties and 5 states.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assessments
Diversity and equity are values most organizations desire to uphold, but they struggle to understand how to measure and track progress towards these objectives. Econsult Solutions is well-suited to marshal industry expertise, quantitative tools, policy research, and a strategic lens to both estimate equity metrics and provide accompanying actionable recommendations.
University of Pennsylvania has long been a leader in diverse and local procurement efforts. To maintain and extend that reputation, the university enlisted Econsult Solutions to conduct a thorough best practices research study for its procurement team. The results have allowed the university to benchmark its policies, terminology, initiatives, and performance against that of numerous peer institutions.
Econsult Solutions conducted extensive analyses of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) fare change proposal to determine the extent to which those changes did or did not adversely affect Philadelphians, and in particular low-income residents. ESI's work played an essential role in SEPTA's efforts to publicize the findings to the general public.
Equity in Economic Development
Traditional economic development project evaluation approaches, which have tended to focus on job creation and tax revenue generation, are giving way to a more holistic consideration of impact. Economic development must now also account for community well-being and address present inequities. Econsult Solutions is well-positioned to provide quantitative, policy, and strategic support to a wide range of projects and clients.
ESI was engaged to determine the banking needs in two neighborhoods: Hunting Park and Southwest Philadelphia. Our analysis incorporated a deep dive into demographic, economic, and banking data, as well as the use of key findings from a parallel survey of perceptions of financial services, barriers, and aspirations conducted by a Temple University professor.
The Baltimore Development Corporation turned to Econsult Solutions to estimate the economic consequences of population growth, as well as to explore the extent to which residential growth would benefit existing residents and otherwise produce equitable outcomes for the City of Baltimore.
Public Bank Feasibility Assessment
Econsult Solutions assisted NYMBUS Corporation in conducting an internal analysis for the government of Washington, D.C. to assess the feasibility of a public bank for the city. This project entailed extensive research, quantitative analysis, and participation in multiple public forums.
Equity in Housing and Real Estate Markets
Real estate developers are increasingly sensitized to the potential impacts—positive and negative—their projects can have on the surrounding community. They benefit from having Econsult Solution’s analyses and guidance to understand how to promote equitable access and inclusion in housing and commercial development.
Econsult Solutions has provided economic and equity analysis for Wexford Science & Technology's real estate development projects in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. In each case, ESI supported Wexford’s efforts to ensure that projects directly translate into desired benefits for local residents.
Real estate developer, Shift Capital, turned to Econsult Solutions to conduct a market feasibility analysis for their proposed redevelopment of a significant, 13-story vacant building for mixed-use in a North Philadelphia neighborhood.
For University Place Associates, a Philadelphia developer of buildings for innovation and urban mixed-use, Econsult Solutions has conducted economic impact studies to articulate the range of impacts of their developments. We have summarized the numerous equitable gains in illustrative documents to help the client with public outreach.
Equity in Small Business
An important step towards a more equitable economy is the support of diverse local businesses. Econsult Solutions has extensive experience in marshaling economic and business data as well as entrepreneurial support concepts to help organizations create a vibrant environment for small businesses.
Econsult Solutions is part of a team of consultants providing quantitative and strategic support to the United Way, the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation on what is needed for diverse entrepreneurs to flourish.
Econsult Solutions conducted a market analysis for three Wilmington, Delaware area not-for-profit organizations. ESI interviewed numerous local merchants and small business advocacy organizations, marshaled demographic, economic, and bank data, and developed an interactive map of business locations.
Econsult Solutions led a team of consultants in the evaluation of the City of Philadelphia’s Taking Care of Business Commercial Corridor Cleaning program. The project included analysis of program impacts and surveys to gauge public and business community perceptions.
- Baltimore Development Corporation
- City of Philadelphia
- M&T Bank
- New York City Department of Finance
- Philadelphia Gas Works
- University of Pennsylvania
- University Place Associates
- Walnut Capital
- Wexford Science & Technology
You Have a Case to Make
Let us help you find a solution to your most pressing challenges. Our staff and advisory board consists of experienced professionals that provide the highest levels of technical expertise in economics, analytics, and thought leadership.
The Econsult Solutions Equity and Inclusion Team Includes:
- Industry leaders with real-world experience and credibility from which to craft customized solutions;
- Public policy practitioners who have successfully institutionalized equity and inclusion into government functions;
- Subject matter experts who can provide insights on pathways to equity and inclusion in multiple industries;
- Seasoned economists to combine primary and secondary data to probe areas of inequity.