Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ballmer Group, has announced a joint $12 million investment to expand the What Works Cities initiative, a national effort focused on improving and enhancing the use of data and data-based evidence by municipal governments.
The investment will enable officials from ten American cities, working closely with a team of advisors from the initiative, to build on best practices in data-driven governance and develop, test, and share evidence-based approaches designed to boost economic mobility in their communities. Cities also will have access to the Opportunity Atlas, an interactive online resource developed by Opportunity Insights at Harvard University in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau that uses anonymous data from more than twenty million residents to investigate barriers to economic mobility. Access to the data set combined with analytic guidance and technical support from the initiative will enable city officials to measure the scope and scale of economic mobility in their communities and develop tailored approaches to address the problem.
"Today, economic mobility is top-of-mind for city leaders around the country," said Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patti Harris. "Through this new partnership, we will follow the data to help communities develop approaches that have the potential to increase opportunity and improve residents' lives."