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Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces First 'What Works Cities' Participants

The three-year data initiative designed to help 100 cities with their community improvement projects has its first eight participants.

by / August 5, 2015

In April, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced What Works Cities, a three-year, $42 million initiative aimed at helping cities develop data-driven projects that improve their communities. And on Aug. 5, the organization announced the first eight cities to participate: Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Mesa, Ariz.; New Orleans; Seattle; and Tulsa, Okla.

“Making better use of data is one of the best opportunities cities have to solve problems and deliver better results for their citizens," said Michael Bloomberg in a press release. "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."

The cities will receive technical assistance from the program in the form of “peer-to-peer learning opportunities,” according to a Bloomberg Philanthropies announcement. What Works Cities advisors will help each city design plans to solve problems like economic development, job creation, public health and social services.

  • Jackson and Mesa will implement open data practices for the first time.
  • Chattanooga, Kansas City, Louisville, New Orleans, Seattle and Tulsa will strengthen existing open data practices.
  • Jackson and Tulsa will implement a citywide, mayoral-led performance management program for the first time.
  • Chattanooga, Kansas City and Mesa will strengthen existing performance management programs.
  • New Orleans and Louisville will develop the capacity to conduct low-cost, real time program evaluations.
  • Seattle will focus on integrating data and evidence into its contracts to achieve better results.

The effect of these programs will become evident in the coming months, as more cities are added. By 2017, 100 cities will have participated in What Works Cities.