City of Scottsdale selected for What Works Cities initiative

From left are Rachel Smetana, Mayor Lane’s chief of staff; Brian K. Biesemeyer, acting city manager, Jeffery M. Nichols, city treasurer/chief financial officer; Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane; Councilman David N. Smith; Sharon Cini, diversity manager; Bruce Washburn, city attorney; Brent Stockwell, assistant city manager. (Submitted photo)

From left are Rachel Smetana, Mayor Lane’s chief of staff; Brian K. Biesemeyer, acting city manager, Jeffery M. Nichols, city treasurer/chief financial officer; Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane; Councilman David N. Smith; Sharon Cini, diversity manager; Bruce Washburn, city attorney; Brent Stockwell, assistant city manager. (Photo credit: Brian D. Hancock )

The city of Scottsdale will improve the ways it uses data to make decisions and deliver services thanks to resources and expertise available from an international network of partners.

Scottsdale is one of 12 municipalities selected in 2016 for What Works Cities, a national program that helps cities evaluate how they are using data and evidence to engage residents, make government more effective and improve lives, a June 13 press release states.

What Works Cities was launched in April 2015 by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which provides the program at no cost.

“This is a rare opportunity to learn from some great minds and leverage their expertise to help us improve services and information for our residents,” said Mayor Jim Lane in a prepares statement.
Work in Scottsdale will focus on:

  • Open data: make data more consumable, readily available, and useful for decision making by incorporating best practices and a scalable approach with assistance from the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Low-cost evaluation: increase the effectiveness of day-to-day operations by integrating low-cost evaluation when planning new initiatives and improving existing practices with assistance from the behavioral insights team.

In addition to working with partners to design custom approaches to best use the city’s data, Scottsdale will become part of a growing community of What Works Cities sharing lessons and best practices after the technical assistance has ended, the release states.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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