Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced its latest initiative – the “City Data Alliance” – designed to enhance the ability of cities across North and South America in reaching “an even higher standard” of data-informed decision making. Bloomberg is investing $60 million in the program, which will be working with the Bloomberg Centers at Johns Hopkins University – specifically the Center for Government Excellence, the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, the Behavioral Insights Team, Results for America, and Public Digital.
The program is open to cities with populations greater than 100,000. Preferred applicants will be those cities having “strong foundations” of data use already in place – such as having a chief data officer and a commitment to at least five hours a month for civic data-related training.
The 100 chosen cities will participate in a six-month acceleration program which will include education, coaching, and consultations on civic-data practices – as well as an additional 12 months of assistance to improve one specific aspect of their cities’ data governance strategies, such as performance management, procurement, or evaluation. The training is expected to: equip city leaders with the skills to lead confidently with data; help them invest in the right people and tools for data-informed decision making; engage residents around data that matters in their lives; and deliver high impact services.
“A growing number of city leaders are using data to drive their decision-making, and as they respond to unprecedented new challenges, expanding this program will help them do it even more effectively,” Michael Bloomberg stated in a press release. “The City Data Alliance will give an international community of forward-thinking leaders even more tools for harnessing the power of data – and improving their residents’ everyday lives.”