August 16, 2017Op-ed

Medium: How Local Leaders Are Improving Outcomes by Learning from Each Other

by Maia Jachimowicz

Local/ Local Government Fellows/ 2017/

In 2014, we had an idea: By bringing together some of the most innovative and results-driven senior government officials from cities and counties across the country — to share ideas and best practices — could we accelerate their use of data and evidence to get better outcomes for the residents they serve?

Three years after launching Results for America’s Local Government Fellowship program, we are getting our answer.

Cities and counties involved in the fellowship are pioneering a wide range of policies, programs, and demonstration projects that focus on the use of research and evidence to improve results. Our 15 Local Government Fellows have developed and are now leading research partnerships examining the impact of policy priorities. They are launching or reforming offices of data, innovation, performance and research in local government. They are spearheading dozens of new data-driven projects such as Pay for Success projects in Salt Lake County (UT) and King County (WA), a Data Science Federation in Los Angeles, Philadelphia’s Behavioral Science Initiative, NOLAlytics’ many analytics projects, Montgomery County’s (MD) poverty story map and New York City’s Workforce Common Metrics — to name just a few.

These cities and counties represent a combined total of 28 million people and are responsible for $148 billion in local government spending. Their innovative evidence-based policies are not just having a local impact — they are serving as a model for similar reforms nationwide.

Every quarter, we gather our fellows together to share what we’ve learned, to hear about the latest advances in evidence-based policymaking, to support each other’s work, and to strengthen this network of local government champions who are at the forefront of delivering better results for residents.