Bloomberg Philanthropies puts $42 Million Behind Cities Initiative


Bloomberg Philanthropies has launched a new initiative aimed at improving cities throughout the US. The goal of the $42 million effort will be to support 100 mid-sized US cities improve how they use data and evidence.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is using its partner network to target mayors and local leaders make better government decisions and engage the public through data. Cities will have to apply for consideration from the philanthropy. Any city with populations between 10,000 and 1 million people can apply.

“While cities are working to meet new challenges with limited resources, they have access to more data than ever – and they are increasingly using it to improve people’s lives,” said Michael R. Bloomberg.

The $42 million program is the largest philanthropy effort aimed at cities to date. Bloomberg Philanthropies says program will provide technical assistance, expertise, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

Across the initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies will document how cities currently use data and evidence in decision making, and how the program helps them advance. Over time, the initiative will also launch a benchmark system which will collect standardized, comparable data so that cities can understand their performance relative to peers.

Results for America will lead and coordinate the What Works Cities partner consortium and advance a nationwide dialogue on the need for cities to use data and evidence in decision making.

The Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University will work with cities to assess the current state of What Works practices, and support implementation and enhancement of open data and performance management programs.

The Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School will support cities in improving the results they achieve with their contracted dollars.

Sunlight Foundation will help cities craft meaningful and sustainable open data policies.
The Behavioral Insights Team will help cities conduct real time, low-cost evaluations of programs so they can continually improve city services.