Sharing MDI Data

Tips to sharing your data in a meaningful way

Sharing your Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) data with others is a necessary and critical step for catalyzing positive change to support the well-being and healthy development of all children. Indeed, through engaging in discussions about your MDI data with your colleagues and other stakeholders, you can help to raise awareness about the importance of child well-being and identify some of the factors that can either facilitate or hinder positive child development. Moreover, such discussions can help you in identifying both the strengths and challenges of children in your schools and community.

Who will you share with?

MDI reports provide valuable information on five dimensions of children’s lives inside and outside of school. These reports, therefore, are of interest to multiple stakeholders and can be a powerful tool in bringing together individuals from a variety of contexts, such as schools, community organizations, government, and health authorities. Together, these stakeholders can collectively engage in discussions about child well-being and identify ways to move from data to action. For example, MDI data can stimulate dialogue among educators within a school, support collaboration among community agencies and other youth serving organizations, or support leadership in identifying system-wide or school district-wide priorities.

Your audience is an important consideration as you plan to share your MDI data. You may be planning to share MDI data with different audiences, such as school staff, health workers, individuals from community organizations, and children. Below is a list of several of the audiences/agencies with whom you may consider sharing MDI data:

Schools & School Systems

School leaders and educators can use MDI data as a foundation for setting short- and long-term goals regarding children’s social and emotional development, health and nutrition, well-being, and constructive use of time after school.

Community Agencies & Coalitions

Given that the MDI provides important data on children’s engagement in activities during the after-school hours, including children’s wishes for after school time, agencies that provide after-school programs for children can utilize MDI data to help them better understand the children whom they serve.


Sharing MDI data with children can provide them with a voice in taking the MDI data to action. Check out our lesson plan for sharing and exploring MDI assets data with children here.

Parents & Caregivers

Sharing MDI data with parents and caregivers can be a powerful way to help them gain a better understanding of the well-being and assets of all of the children in your school or district. It also can ignite important conversations about the ways in which children’s well-being, social and emotional competence, and assets can be promoted at school, at home, and in the community. For example, you can share with parents and caregivers some of the latest research about the importance of integrating social and emotional learning programs and practices into classrooms and schools – and highlight that recent science indicates that such approaches increase students’ academic achievement.

To support you in this, the MDI team has created some easy to share images that highlight research on the middle years and ideas for moving to action with the MDI

“We use the MDI data in our District Plan for Success, in each of our school plans, and, most importantly, to facilitate discussion with our students, as they unpack the rich information in the MDI reports to reflect, respond, and plan for their future.”

Learn how others have used MDI data to work with stakeholders on the Making Change with the MDI page.

What data are you sharing?

Once you have decided on the audience with whom you will share your MDI data, consider which report(s) are available and most appropriate for sharing. Please note that reports can vary by school system, province, and territory. Please check with the person responsible for the MDI project in your school system or community to see which reports are available in your area.

MDI School Reports

Due to the potentially sensitive nature of school-level reporting, The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) does not publicly release school reports. Instead, we encourage administrators to facilitate the sharing of school-level MDI reports with school staff and educators, as well as parents and children themselves. Learn more about how the Revelstoke school district has shared school-level data.

MDI School District Reports

MDI School District Reports provide a comprehensive picture of the well-being of children in a specific school system. These reports combine the data from a district’s School Reports into district-wide summaries: one report for each grade that participated in the district. Neither individual children nor their answers are identifiable. Whether sharing data with school district staff or stakeholders across the community, School District Reports provide a wealth of information to explore.

MDI School District & Community Reports

In BC, MDI School District & Community Reports combine School District Reports with neighbourhood profiles and maps. Beyond providing rich data on the well-being of children in a specific school district, the maps and neighbourhood profiles can help with understanding neighbourhood contexts, the distribution of assets and well-being across a community, and understanding relative differences between neighbourhoods. These reports are publicly available and can be accessed here.

How should I share my MDI data?

There are many ways to share MDI data: meetings, workshops, larger presentations, in school newsletters and social media, and in annual reports. MDI data might not even be the responsibility of a certain person to share, but the joint responsibility of a data or assessment team to explore together. Whether you plan to share your data, present it, or explore it as a team, the resources below can help or check out the Engagement Tools and Workshops pages for a full list of resources for sharing MDI data.


Created: April 1, 2018

Last Updated: August 4, 2020

These MDI 101 PowerPoint slides cover the basics of the MDI and provide the information that audiences new to the MDI need to know with respect to the dimensions of the MDI and the rationale for assessing well-being and assets in middle childhood. Labeled slides are included for you to add your own MDI data.

Created: August 15, 2019

Duration: 01:48:00

To help you with your slide creation, our staff at HELP have created a step-by-step video that shows how to screen capture data from your MDI reports and add the captures to your presentation slides.

Find more tools and resources to help you share MDI data