8 cities win innovation support

Bloomberg Philanthropies selected eight cities for its What Works Cities initiative, a $42 million program to help 100 cities enhance their use of data to improve the lives of residents.

Eight mid-sized cities will get expert help with their government innovation efforts, thanks to the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities program.

Launched earlier this year, the program received applications from 112 cities across 40 states. Running through 2017, What Works Cities will give a total of 100 cities support and peer-to-peer learning opportunities in an effort to make their governments more effective and use open data to engage citizens and improve services.

The winning cities are Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Mesa, Ariz.; New Orleans; Seattle; and Tulsa, Okla.

Jackson and Mesa will implement open data practices for the first time, while Chattanooga, Kansas City, Louisville, New Orleans, Seattle, and Tulsa will strengthen their existing open data practices.

Jackson and Tulsa will implement a citywide, mayoral-led performance management program for the first time. New Orleans and Louisville will develop the capacity to conduct low-cost, real time program evaluations.  And Seattle will focus on integrating data and evidence into its contracts to achieve better results.

The $42 million initiative will provide cities with support from Results for America, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Sunlight Foundation and the Behavioral Insights Team.

“Making better use of data is one of the best opportunities cities have to solve problems and deliver better results for their citizens,” Michael R. Bloomberg said the announcement. "The first group of cities in the What Works Cities program represent the range of local leaders across the country who are committed to using data and evidence to improve people’s everyday lives."

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