'What Works Cities' Announces Twelve New Cities, Launches Toolkit

'What Works Cities' Announces Twelve New Cities, Launches Toolkit

In partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Results for America has announced the selection of twelve new cities for the What Works Cities initiative, an effort of Bloomberg Philanthropies to enhance the use of data and data-based evidence by municipal governments with the goal of improving service delivery, informing local decision making, and boosting citizen engagement.

Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; Cape Coral and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina; Gresham, Oregon; Topeka, Wichita, and Kansas City, Kansas; Naperville, Illinois; Providence, Rhode Island; and Scottsdale, Arizona, will join twenty-seven other cities already participating in the initiative and receive strategic guidance and technical assistance with respect to areas for improvement. To that end, the Sunlight Foundation and Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University (GovEx) will work with ten cities to make their data more accessible, engage residents, and increase government transparency and accountability and with eleven cities to enhance their performance management programs, strengthen their accountability, and achieve better results. In addition, the cities of Gresham and Scottsdale will work with the initiative's Behavioral Insights Team to develop their capacity to conduct low-cost, rapid evaluations of their programs, while Wichita will work with the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School to reform its contracting practices.

In conjunction with the announcement, What Works partners also released a toolkit that highlights best practices in designing open data policies and creating robust open data portals, strengthening performance management programs, using behavioral insights to run randomized control trials, and strategically managing city contracts.

"These city leaders are committed to utilizing data to make better decisions, engage residents and hold themselves accountable," said James Anderson, who heads Bloomberg Philanthropies' Government Innovation program. "Bloomberg Philanthropies is excited to support these cities and help them to achieve their ambitions."