has announced a second cohort of municipalities selected to participate in a $42 million initiative designed to enhance cities' use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision making, and boost citizen engagement.
The cohort of thirteen cities selected for the initiative — Anchorage, Alaska; Bellevue, Washington; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Denton and Waco, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Independence, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lexington, Kentucky; St. Paul, Minnesota; San Francisco and San Jose, California; and Tacoma, Washington — will receive support and technical assistance in the use of data to address local issues, including economic development, job creation, public safety, and affordable housing. To that end, data experts will review the municipalities' current use of data and evidence, identify best practices and areas for growth, and provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities with the first eight cities selected for the initiative in August.
Most of the cities in this round will work to establish and improve open data practices designed to make their data more accessible to city managers and the public, engage residents around government priorities and services, and increase the transparency accountability of city government. In addition, Denver, Lexington, and San Jose will use their grants to develop the capacity to conduct low-cost real-time program evaluations so that managers have better information with which to make adjustments and improve results, while St. Paul and San Francisco will shift their contracting practices to a pay–for-results basis, bringing greater accountability to how public funds are spent.
"Cities around the country are looking to use data more effectively, and the new What Works cities range from Alaska to the East Coast," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "They understand that data is a tool that every city can use to improve public services, and our What Works Cities initiative will help them do just that."