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January 3, 2019 - What Works Cities, which was launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015 to help local governments benefit from data-driven decision-making, has launched a new program called What Works Cities Sprints. The sprints are essentially an opportunity to work with What Works Cities’ long list of partners and its network of peer cities on improving foundational data practices. They last between two and eight weeks, and each one is tied to one of What Work Cities’ certification criteria, which include areas of achievement in everything from data governance to stakeholder engagement.

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December 26, 2018 - Former Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu discusses how the city used data to fight blight and rebuild following Hurricane Katrina, the importance of promoting a data-driven culture within City Hall, and the value of What Works Cities Certification for all U.S. cities.

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December 24, 2018 - Two years have passed since Mayor Paul Soglin announced that Madison would join a national initiative to improve government through better use of data. Today, according to city officials, that decision has yielded a lot of change. Since joining the Bloomberg Philanthropies-backed What Works Cities initiative in 2016, the city has partnered with national civic technology groups on an ambitious plan to overhaul how it uses data internally, and in how it disseminates data to the public.

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December 20, 2018 - Simone Brody, executive director of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, discusses how the project has helped city governments tackle pressing issues including cybersecurity, climate change and transportation.

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December 20, 2018 - In the December 2018 issue of the What Works Cities newsletter, we're taking a look back at some of the exciting milestones we celebrated over the past year—from announcing the first nine cities to win WWC Certification to receiving $42 million in renewed funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies to deepen and expand our work with cities across the U.S. We're also sharing a taste of what's ahead in 2019 in a Q&A with the Behavioral Insights Team's Head of Research, Emily Cardon, who will be helping cities to improve results through evaluations in our first-ever Sprint, a brand-new learning opportunity from WWC.

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December 13, 2018 - Cities face a range of issues these days – from public transportation and infrastructure to housing affordability and environmental concerns. Each has a direct impact on improving the quality of life of residents, which is exactly what our goal as civic leaders should be. That’s why the National League of Cities (NLC) and Results for America recently forged a new partnership to help more cities leverage data-driven solutions to better address their most pressing challenges. Results for America is a lead partner in What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies-launched initiative that has set the bar for well-managed, data-driven cities through its Certification program.

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December 13, 2018 - The Sunlight Foundation rolled out a new project this week called Roadmap to Informed Communities, which is a toolset aimed at helping local governments with open data work tailored to their residents. Sunlight Foundation also notes that its new road map features tools that can help cities achieve What Works Cities certification, one of the foremost benchmarks in the gov tech space for citizen-service efforts.

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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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December 7, 2018 - To help local governments at all levels of data maturity, the Sunlight Foundation on Thursday released its “Roadmap to Informed Communities,” an open-data framework and associated tools that can be used to form a city’s first civic data project or enhance existing ones.The roadmap contains several resources, including an updated version of the group’s Tactical Data Engagement framework, which guides cities from through the planning and implementation of open data work with the public. The guide has been informed by the organization’s open data work with more than 60 cities though a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities program.

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December 6, 2018 - The city of Tulsa has figured out a way to get more people to pay their municipal fines: send them a text. A six-month pilot program that ended in September found that individuals who received a text message reminding them that they had a payment due were significantly more likely to pay the fine on time and avoid additional penalties for failure to pay. James Wagner, the city’s chief of performance strategy and innovation, said the city partnered with Code for Tulsa and the nonprofit What Works Cities to put the pilot program together at a cost of about $100.

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