Giving Compass' Take:

• Mike Bloomberg is investing an additional $42 million in What Works Cities programs in order to utilize data and evidence to improve cities. Bloomberg Cities spoke with Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities, to discuss the past three years of work and what the next steps are. 

• How can other philanthropists help expand the programming put in place by What Works Cities?

• Read more about the What Works Cities initiative when it first started. 

Mike Bloomberg 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.

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.

Bloomberg Cities: When What Works Cities launched three years ago, the goal was to help 100 mid-sized American cities enhance their use of data and evidence. When we hear “data” and “cities” today, it’s almost a no-brainer. How new was that idea three years ago? And were there any hurdles to getting the initiative up and running?

Simone Brody: Almost any mayor we talked to immediately believed it was valuable to operate with the best information possible. The value was clear. The hurdle was helping cities prioritize this work against their other pressing challenges — making this urgent and showing the return on investment is worth it.

Over the past three years, cities across the country have continuously demonstrated that effectively using facts and information produces better outcomes on homelessness, on public safety, mobility, and other issues—and does so faster and with fewer resources.

How have you seen cities’ data-specific capacities evolve over the past three years?

The movement is clearly advancing. What was cutting edge a few years ago is now established practice. For example, managing and releasing data to the public is now expected of local governments. That means there is both more pressure on city governments to implement these data governance practices and a clear, codified method for doing so.

Read the full article about What Works Cities from Bloomberg Cities at Medium