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What Works Cities Recognizes 10 More Cities for Data Use

Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded 10 more U.S. cities with What Works Cities Certifications for their use of data and evidence to inform decision-making. The total number of U.S. cities certified since 2017 is now 50.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today that 10 more cities have been awarded What Works Cities Certification for their use of data, bringing the total number of certified cities to 50.

The cities recognized today are Baltimore, Md.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Denver, Colo; Durham, N.C.; Evanston, Ill.; Long Beach, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Salinas, Calif.

Cities can receive Silver, Gold or Platinum Certification from the program. The cities awarded today received Silver Certification.

Each of these cities is using data and evidence to address various challenges. For example, to improve public safety, Miami launched a resident-powered app to map high-risk flooding areas. Salinas used data in a different approach to public safety with a program that aims to prevent youth and gang violence.

Data can also help with economic recovery, as seen in Long Beach. The city used data to carefully target local businesses impacted by COVID-19 and distribute support grants.

“Cities that are investing in building their data skills and capacity are seeing the results,” said What Works Cities Certification’s Founding Director Jennifer Park in the announcement.

The certification program was launched in 2017 to assess the data-driven decision-making methods of cities with populations of 30,000 or higher. Cities that participate in the program receive customized assessments that highlight their strengths, as well as areas that can be improved. Partners of What Works Cities offer training and other support in improvement efforts.

The 45 criteria on which certifications are based are grouped into the practices of data governance, evaluations, general management, open data, performance and analytics, repurposing, results-driven contracting and stakeholder engagement.

Earlier this year, the Monitor Institute by Deloitte released a report in collaboration with What Works Cities to examine how cities are using data. The report found that data-driven governance — for monitoring and communicating progress on goals as well as modifying existing programs — has increased across the board since the creation of What Works Cities.