Launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, What Work Cities is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. The initiative is providing technical assistance to 100 cities on a rolling basis through 2018.

Cities around the country are receiving support, guidance and resources to succeed through a consortium of leading organizations assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies: the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Sunlight Foundation, with Results for America serving as the campaign manager for the initiative.

With support from these partners, cities are creating new methods to evaluate programs and improve performance; identifying more effective ways to use resources to serve their communities; and addressing a range of social challenges—from tackling poverty to increasing resident engagement.

The technical assistance cities receive through the initiative is bolstered by the What Works Cities Standard, a set of principles and actions that help cities move from a desire to use data- and evidence-based decision-making to drawing on those practices to improve residents’ lives. The four components of the Standard—commit, measure, take stock and act—build on each other and reflect the practices that city leaders have used to advance the effectiveness of their governments.