More county governments are moving towards using evidence-based policymaking to better serve individuals in their community and effectively use taxpayer resources. However, many localities lack the capacity to undertake rigorous data collection and analysis and program evaluation. To help fill these gaps, counties are partnering with universities and colleges to access a network of public policy experts and the capacity to collect, examine and analyze data and all its complexities. NACo, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge, has created a guide that highlights essential elements that can help ensure counties can successfully navigate university partnerships to improve data collection and analysis and implement evidence-based policymaking to provide innovative and cost-effective services to their constituents. This guide will give insight into the initiation and maintenance of county-university partnerships as well as advancing the partnership once the implementation phase of a project has been completed.