Local government plays a vital role in the lives of low income people. Public sector resources are often the largest share of funds used to address systematic issues, such as education and job creation. Yet, those resources are failing to achieve the desired results. While local government has historically been responsive to residents’ input, in recent years the process of civic engagement has foundered. Across the country there is a thirst for and a growing momentum around changing this narrative. From the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge to new Pay for Success initiatives, we see local leaders committed to innovation – new ways of working – that will create a greater shared prosperity and reinvigorate our democracy.
Our best chance to achieve this comes when local government is nimble, collaborative, data-driven and focused on aligning resources and results.
Public Sector Innovation work at Living Cities includes initiatives and networks that help public sector leaders better operate, collaborate and deliver results for their residents:
- The Project on Municipal Innovation: In partnership with the Ash Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, we support a network of 35+ Chiefs of Staff and Policy Directors to advance transformative change through innovation in city government.
- City Accelerator: An initiative with Citi Foundation brings cohorts of cities together in deeply engaged ways to accelerate the adoption of specific innovations in their communities.
- Civic Tech & Data Collaborative: The Civic Tech & Data Collaborative, a partnership between Living Cities, Code for America, and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership supported by The MacArthur Foundation, focuses on harnessing technology and data to address issues affecting low-income people.
- Racial Equity Here: Five cities are working over a two-year period to apply a racial equity lens to all city government operations.
- Equipt to Innovate Framework for Local Government: In partnership with GOVERNING, Equipt is an integrated, collaborative framework for building a community’s future, and will be achieved with capacity and competence in seven essential elements defining high performance government.
As we collaborate with and learn from our networks of civic leaders, we are continuously deepening our own understanding of what it takes to foster more nimble, collaborative and data-driven local governments. We will continue to share promising practices with the field along the way.