September 26, 2017 Press Releases

What Works Cities Initiative Now Partnering with Ninety Cities

Five new cities commit to using data and evidence to address challenges from flood recovery to neighborhood livability

NEW YORK, September 26, 2017 – Today, Results for America announced that five new cities have been selected to join What Works Cities: Baton Rouge, LA; Cary, NC; Fayetteville, NC; Hayward, CA; and Winston-Salem, NC. Launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, What Works Cities is the largest philanthropic effort to improve the effectiveness of local governments by enhancing their use of data and evidence. With today’s new cities, the initiative is now partnering with 90 cities across the country that are home to more than 28 million people in 37 states and have annual budgets exceeding $96 billion. The initiative will partner with 100 cities on a rolling basis through 2018.

“Data is one of the best resources at cities’ disposal for effectively solving challenges and driving progress,” said Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities. “We’re supporting city leaders to maximize the use of their data to make more informed decisions, develop stronger programs and services and better serve their communities.”

Cities are teaming up with What Works Cities’ expert partners to develop the skills to apply data-driven tools – including performance management, randomized control trials and results-driven contracting – to their most pressing challenges. A report released by the initiative earlier this year showcases progress cities have made in areas from improving public safety to increasing vendor diversity in contracting.

Planned projects in the five new cities include:

  • Baton Rouge, LA, will develop a data-driven framework to track progress in housing recovery efforts related to the August 2016 flooding in the state. The City will also engage community stakeholders while developing an open data policy and exploring opportunities for residents to use municipal data.
  • Cary, NC, will support the research and development of a citizen contact center by strengthening the collection and analysis of call data, and will also develop an open data policy.
  • Fayetteville, NC, will use performance analytics to improve stormwater management efforts, a priority for the City since the impact of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
  • Hayward, CA, will upgrade its ability to manage and open data, with a focus on improving safety and quality of life by curbing illegal dumping.
  • Winston-Salem, NC, will apply data-driven tools to its six strategic focus areas, starting with making neighborhoods more livable. The City will also create an open data policy, and develop a performance management framework that empowers staff to make more data-informed decisions in all areas of city government.

The new cities will also join What Works Cities’ extensive learning network of local leaders and global experts actively sharing best practices for outcomes-focused government.

The current participants in the What Works Cities initiative are: Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK; Arlington, TX; Augusta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Boise, ID; Boulder, CO; Buffalo, NY; Bellevue, WA; Boston, MA; Cambridge, MA; Cape Coral, FL; Cary, NC; Charleston, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Charlotte, NC; Corona, CA; Denton, TX; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Downey, CA; Durham, NC; Fargo, ND; Fayetteville, NC; Fort Collins, CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Worth, TX; Gilbert, AZ; Glendale, AZ; Greensboro, NC; Gresham, OR; Hartford, CT; Hayward, CA; Independence, MO; Indianapolis, IN; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; Laredo, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Lewisville, TX; Lexington, KY; Lincoln, NE; Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; Madison, WI; Memphis, TN; Mesa, AZ; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Modesto, CA; Naperville, IL; Nashville, TN; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; Norfolk, VA; Oklahoma City, OK; Olathe, KS; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Riverside, CA; Salinas, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; Scottsdale, AZ; Saint Paul, MN; Sioux Falls, SD; South Bend, IN; Syracuse, NY; Tacoma, WA; Tempe, AZ; Topeka, KS; Tulsa, OK; Tyler, TX; Victorville, CA; Virginia Beach, VA; Waco, TX; Washington, DC; West Palm Beach, FL; Wichita, KS; and Winston-Salem, NC.

About What Works Cities:
What Work Cities, launched in April 2015, is the largest-ever philanthropic effort 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, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation. In 2016, What Works Cities was named by Forbes as “one of the ten most promising philanthropic bets” of the year and by Engaging Local Government Leaders as the “most important company operating in the local government arena.” In March 2017, the initiative launched What Works Cities Certification, the first-ever national standard for data-driven governance. The report “What Works Cities: How Local Governments Are Changing Lives,” released in June 2017, summarizes cities’ accomplishments with the initiative. For more information, visit

About Results for America:
Results for America is helping decision-makers at all levels of government harness evidence and data to make progress on great challenges. The organization’s mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal” so that when policymakers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results. For more information, visit

Results for America/What Works Cities, Sharman Stein, (914) 522-4102, [email protected]
Results for America/What Works Cities, Kristin Taylor, (646) 854-5572, [email protected]

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