Mayor Jeff Longwell on Monday announced that Wichita has been selected as 1 of 12 new cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Work Cities initiative – one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector.
“Wichita is making leaps and bounds in terms of our efforts to utilize data to actively improve the lives of our citizens and best position ourselves for future growth,” Longwell said. “This will help us streamline our efforts to engage citizens and research to identify what the next big opportunities are for Wichita.”
Launched in April 2015, the initiative is now providing support to 39 cities in 25 states and will work with up to 100 mid-sized cities on a rolling basis through 2018.
Wichita is one of the newest cities to join a rapidly growing movement among City Halls whose leaders are making a public commitment to enhancing their cities’ use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision-making and engage residents. Other cities joining today are Baltimore; Buffalo, New York; Cape Coral, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina; Gresham, Oregon; Kansas City, Kansas; Naperville, Illinois; Providence, Rhode Island; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Topeka.
What Works Cities collaborates with participating municipalities to review their current use of data and evidence, to understand where they are utilizing best practices and to identify growth areas. Wichita will work with What Works Cities expert partners to expand the city’s use of data and evidence. Specific goals include establishing and improving open data practices in order to make the city’s data more accessible to the public, engage residents around government priorities and services, and increase transparency.
The consortium of leading organizations that has been assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide a program of expert support includes 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. To receive updates on and learn more about What Works Cities initiative, please visit www.whatworkscities.org.