What Works Cities Certification

WHAT WORKS CITIES CERTIFICATION RECOGNIZES AND CELEBRATES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS THAT ARE LEADING THE NATION IN THE USE OF DATA AND EVIDENCE.

By providing a clear path to excellence, What Works Cities Certification supports local leaders in leveraging “what works” to increase government effectiveness and deliver stronger results for their residents. In January 2018, we announced the inaugural group of nine cities to achieve this distinction. Today, 55 cities are What Works Cities Certified. Learn more about how they’re leading the way by clicking the photos below.

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WHAT WORKS CITIES CERTIFIED CITIES

Learn more about the 55 cities that have achieved What Works Cities Certification to date. The cities with the bordered tiles below make up our 2021 Certified cities cohort.

PLATINUM CERTIFIED CITIES

GOLD CERTIFIED CITIES

SILVER CERTIFIED CITIES

HOW CERTIFICATION WORKS

Cities begin their What Works Cities Certification journey by completing a self-assessment to benchmark their progress on data-driven governance. The Assessment evaluates and measures best practices for city governments across more than 40 criteria, organized around eight foundational practice areas, which define the fundamentals of data-driven governance. They then receive a customized roadmap with next steps and join the What Works Cities Certification Community. The Certification Community includes exclusive access to expert partners who lead learning opportunities, peer connections, a resource bank, how-to sprints, coaching and more. Together, the Assessment and Certification Community support cities in their efforts to achieve Silver, Gold or Platinum Certification. Certification is open to any U.S., Canadian, or Latin American city with a population of at least 30,000.

Explore the Certification criteria in English, Español, and Português.

Local governments are GOOD at understanding data, tracking progress, and using data and evidence to make decisions. Cities that achieve between 51% and 66% of the Certification criteria are recognized at the silver level.

Local governments are GREAT at understanding data, tracking progress, and using data and evidence to make decisions. Cities that achieve between 67% and 83% of the Certification criteria are recognized at the gold level.

Local governments SET THE PRECEDENT in understanding data, tracking progress, and using data and evidence to make decisions. Cities that achieve 84% or more of the Certification criteria are recognized at the platinum level.

WHY CERTIFY?

By providing a clear path to excellence, What Works Cities Certification helps local leaders understand “what works” to increase government effectiveness and deliver stronger results for their residents. The data-driven practices cities build through Certification can lead to better and more equitable outcomes for their residents.

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Accelerate on your city's path to excellence by completing a What Works Cities Assessment. This will help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your local government’s management, see how your practices stack up against those of your peers, determine how you can improve, and start getting support to drive outcomes for your community. Assessments are accepted on a rolling basis. Please contact certification@whatworkscities.org with any questions.