Ethics, Data Science, and Health and Human Services: Embedded Bias in Policy Approaches to Teen Pregnancy Prevention

06/07/2020
by   Davon Woodard, et al.
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Background: This study aims to evaluate the Chicago Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative delivery optimization outcomes given policy-neutral and policy-focused approaches to deliver this program to at-risk teens across the City of Chicago. Methods: We collect and compile several datasets from public sources including: Chicago Department of Public Health clinic locations, two public health statistics datasets, census data of Chicago, list of Chicago public high schools, and their Locations. Our policy-neutral approach will consist of an equal distribution of funds and resources to schools and centers, regardless of past trends and outcomes. The policy-focused approaches will evaluate two models: first, a funding model based on prediction models from historical data; and second, a funding model based on economic and social outcomes for communities. Results: Results of this study confirms our initial hypothesis, that even though the models are optimized from a machine learning perspective, there is still possible that the models will produce wildly different results in the real-world application. Conclusions: When ethics and ethical considerations are extended beyond algorithmic optimization to encompass output and societal optimization, the foundation and philosophical grounding of the decision-making process become even more critical in the knowledge discovery process.

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