Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships, competition and privatization. Stephen was also the chief domestic policy advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the district attorney for Marion County, Indiana from 1979 to 1990. He has written The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship; The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America, and The Responsive City: Engaging Communities through Data-Smart Governance.
When technologists meet with capable public servants, they not only engender new digital solutions to improve citizens’ lives, but also develop ways of operating government that are leaner, cheaper, and more responsive to civic demands.
To better understand and respond to citizens’ needs and allocate public resources more efficiently, governments must use predictive analytics to leverage data and develop innovative solutions to contemporary urban challenges.
Common data formats and unified data services lay a foundation for organizational intelligence.
The first (and most obvious) thread in cultivating citizen support is to incorporate the quality, quantify and usability of open data.
It enables more efficient and effective government. The obstacles are often more rooted in folklore than in law.
Demonstrating how tech can augment rather than supplant city work can go a long way toward making workers more comfortable with new initiatives.
Mississippi's capital is showing that you don't have to be a Chicago or a New York to make good things happen.
Encouraging informed disagreement is the only way a public leader can learn whether an initiative might -- or might not -- succeed.
County leaders should seek to deploy data for preempting and solving problems, changing accountability and enforcement, and improving customer service.
Cities need to attract and cultivate a workforce of tech-minded employees who can fully leverage new technologies and data initiatives to promote change and create public value.
By using data analytics to make decisions about pretrial detention, local governments could find substantial savings while making their communities safer.
Brenna Berman discusses potential benefits and challenges with the Internet of Things.
Data collected from the Internet of Things must be integrated into existing strategies while keeping new challenges in mind.
Cities are learning to mine this trove of information to predict the impact of future events and significantly improve operations.
Indianapolis' longtime mayor worked hard at crafting a big idea for his city, and it paid off handsomely.
The city's FastFWD initiative used a business accelerator to connect interested entrepreneurs with eight city departments for collaborative thinking and development, which resulted in nine pilot projects and two full contracts.
Washington, D.C.’s Urban Forestry Administration set an example for cities everywhere about how powerful a new set of data can be when creatively leveraged.
Although there’s a void between how cities want to implement data-driven solutions and their ability to do so, there are some strategies that will narrow the disparity.
The city is at the forefront of the emerging concept of mobility management.
Civic engagement doesn’t happen by default. Technology can help government leaders reach community members.
St. Paul, Minn., took an unusual path to improving a vital public service, one that holds promise for other city operations.
Data standards create a common structure that facilitates information sharing, inter-organizational cooperation and the ability to build on past successes — all important ingredients to driving data-smart innovation.
The foundation is providing a useful roadmap for results-oriented governance.
Houston's mayor has brought capable city personnel to the forefront of her leadership strategy, using data to efficiently enhance their skills and maximize their impact.
Why government managers need to know about machine learning.
Minerva Tantoco aligns agency efforts with the citywide strategic vision.
What began as a niche innovation is creating a wider transformation of government culture.
Seattle’s digital privacy initiative aims to keep innovation on track with new data safeguards.
Cities are moving toward a regulatory regime that, rather than striving to protect incumbents from competition, attempts to do a better job of protecting health and safety -- and at lower costs to taxpayers.
Far more than the public realizes, innovators are making extraordinary efforts in communities across America.
To fully realize the benefits of advanced analytics, government needs to build “documented exceptions” into health inspections.
The people who deliver services directly to the public know a lot. Denver is setting the pace for tapping that resource.
The combination of new cloud-accessible, easily implemented customer relationship management technology coupled with mobility enables meaningful results.
A new Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative aims to help 100 cities govern more effectively.
The challenges of directing a city-government "i-team" demand additional characteristics unique to the innovation process.
An innovative solution will bring high-speed Wi-Fi to all New York City residents.
Early signs are positive for the latest crop of big infrastructure public-private partnerships.
How other cities’ progress should factor into your transparency efforts.
These five elements can help you make the case for how mobile tools, data mining and cloud software can be combined to improve responsiveness.
Another 14 cities are about to build their own "i-teams." No longer an experimental approach, it's a proven route to cross-cutting accomplishments.
In the New Year, municipalities will face the challenge of ensuring that their data-driven approaches empower them to be responsive to citizens’ wants, needs and ideas.
Interactive Web tools and virtual platforms help city officials break down barriers to food access.
Citizen-generated data obtained by social media listening is becoming a valuable public health tool.
Today's most innovative civic leaders are using technology to fulfill the promise of efficient and responsive local government.
Incorporating digital approaches throughout the regulatory process has shown higher-quality results, far lower transaction costs and fewer job-killing delays.
Neighborhood-level maps illuminate the conditions faced by families and children in the area, all while protecting personal information.
By investing in customer service and innovation, D.C. Water has done far more than simply rebrand an essential public service.
How planners in Oregon and Kentucky use smartphones to collect valuable information.
By making all of its data easily and quickly available across agencies, the state stands to save money and improve services.
Promising public safety initiatives are helping make city streets safer for all.
Creativity and a willingness to take on risk can help unlock data’s value.
A data-rich understanding of properties in distress informs a better plan of attack.
Descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics help cities do more with less.
Data mining and predictive analytics will make social service agencies more effective.
The botched rollout of the federal health exchange underlines the need for changes in how governments at all levels handle major technology projects.
As governments are seeking to move toward more effective uses of data, here are five topics to watch in 2014.
Smartly deployed, useful and actionable information systems, informed by readily available data, can help alleviate the harmful effects of any disaster.
Visualizing information is the next step in making open data portals more useful to the public.
Combining data with new analytics techniques can help governments react nimbly and purposefully.
Utilizing public transit’s mass amount of data can benefit government and citizens alike.
The four stages of social media and government in 140 characters or fewer.
These customer service systems are evolving into far more than a way to get a pothole filled or graffiti cleaned up.
Public entities nationwide are incorporating data and technology into their operations and producing new levels of efficiency, community engagement and public value.
Some cities are finding ways to create the urgency and political will to produce permanent pipelines of innovation.
Louisville, Ky., is showing how a performance metrics initiative can transform a government's operational culture.
How data analytics are transforming police work and taking criminals off the streets.
"The goal of a clean environment is laudable. But public health benefits and costs have to be part of the equation." -- Stephen Goldsmith