Resources & News

December 12, 2018 – Sometimes, little things can make a big difference. That’s one lesson from a stunningly simple experiment in Syracuse, N.Y., that netted the city $1.5 million worth of overdue tax payments. Earlier this year, the city mailed out more than 3,800 letters to residents who were behind on their property tax bills. Checks came pouring in. More of those payments came from people who had received the letter with Martha’s message than those who did not. The Syracuse experiment was an example of how cities are applying insights from behavioral science to make government more efficient, effective, and inclusive.

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September 17, 2018 – During Chief Data Officer Joy Bonaguro’s time leading DataSF, the team delivered in many ways. Here are just some highlights: What Works Cities Certification. Bloomberg’s What Works Cities initiative certified San Francisco for good use of data this past year. The City was one of 9 cities to receive the certification. In the 2 technical assistance categories representing much of our portfolio, Open Data and Data Governance, the City received perfect marks. The materials we’ve posted related to those topics have been copied and re-used the world over.

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September 12, 2018 – Earlier this year, Sunlight’s Open Cities team updated its mission to reflect a shifting tide within our team and in the greater open government community. We’ve come a long way in helping cities establish strong foundations for openness through open data policies, transparency initiatives, and open data portals. Two weeks ago, we released our Open Data Policy Hub, which is a culmination of our last three years promoting open data policy and practice through the What Works Cities program, using our fundamental open data policy guidelines.

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August 24, 2018 – At NLC, we hear you loud and clear. For city leaders, using data matters more than ever. In short, data and technology are everything in 2018, and fundamental to how cities keep readying themselves to tackle the challenges of the future. That’s why we’ve partnered with Results for America – a lead partner of What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies-launched initiative – to offer a first-of-its-kind workshop series on foundational data practices through NLC University.

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August 17, 2018 – As in other fields, when data scientists allow bias to impact their work, the results can be wide-ranging, difficult to predict, and sometimes, dangerous. That’s part of the reason David Anderson, a member of Data Community DC’s Advisory Board, along with a team led by Andrew Nicklin, who is the Director of Data Practices at the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, will be presenting a workshop on just this topic at the upcoming Data for Good Exchange 2018. The development of the toolkit was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies through its What Works Cities initiative.

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August 12, 2018 – For the City of Fayetteville, stormwater management is a critically important issue. When the City of Fayetteville first began working with the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) through the What Works Cities (WWC) initiative, we set out to analyze and refine the performance measures we use to track and manage this issue. To begin to change our trajectory, we partnered with GovEx to bring together city staff from both the Storm Water Division and the Strategy and Performance Analytics office.

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July 10, 2018 – At Results for America, we believe deeply in the power of evidence and data to transform the way governments improve outcomes for children, families and communities. Today, we are proud to release our first-ever 2018 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence, which highlights how governors and state agency leaders — in red states and blue states — are using data and evidence to get better results for their residents.

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July 9, 2018 – If you’re a Chief Data Officer or city open data champion, new open data projects are a big commitment and it can be difficult to predict open data’s impact in your community. But putting in leg work to understand community needs before launching an open data project can help you design for your stakeholders’ specific needs and use cases for open data. That’s why Sunlight’s Open Cities team has developed these interactive tools for local government staff or data providers looking to ground-truth their open data projects in community needs.

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May 30, 2018 – The movement to modernize government technology has been focused on the delivery of government services using modern technology and best practices. But that is only half the solution; now we must also learn to drive policy and operations around delivery and users, and complete the feedback circuit. Only then can we effectively achieve the goals government policies intend.

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May 23, 2018 – Mike Bloomberg today announced an additional $42 million investment in the What Works Cities program to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence to improve resident outcomes and address the most pressing local issues. With news of this new investment, Bloomberg Cities spoke with Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities, about the successes of the initiative’s first three years and what’s in store for the years ahead.

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