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City of Cambridge Recognized Nationally for Being One of the Best American Cities at Using Data and Evidence

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 3 years ago.

What Works Cities Badge

The City of Cambridge is proud to announce it has been recognized for achieving 2020 What Works Cities Certification at the silver level.  What Works Cities (WWC) Certification evaluates how effectively cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making -- whether they have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision-making -- against a national standard of excellence. WWC is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015.

Cambridge is one of 16 cities to achieve Certification at the silver level. Over the past year, the city has demonstrated measurable progress on foundational data practices, representing Cambridge’s commitment to advancing how data is used to better serve residents. Nearly 200 U.S. cities have completed a What Works Cities Assessment; to date, only 24 cities have met the What Works Cities national standard in achieving Certification.
“Our engagement with What Works Cities has facilitated the sharpening of staff capacity and skills to use data, evidence, and stakeholder engagement to improve our residents’ lives,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “I am incredibly proud of this achievement as it reflects our city’s commitment to making data-informed decisions and delivering the most effective services and programs to the Cambridge community.”

The open data and stakeholder engagement criteria assessed around What Works Cities Certification have proven to be essential in Cambridge’s efforts to inform the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a collaboration between the Cambridge Public Health Department and the city’s Data Analytics and Open Data program, Cambridge launched a regularly expanding COVID-19 data center. Daily, charts, maps, and other information on COVID-19’s impact in Cambridge are shared with the public on the city’s website and through a nightly community email update. The data center provides detailed information on cases, recoveries, and deaths by neighborhood, race and ethnicity, age, and gender.

Through improved and ongoing data-driven management, Cambridge achieved a 2009 goal of reducing trash by 30% by 2020 a year ahead of schedule and decreased community arrests by more than 50% since implementing the city’s juvenile-focused Safety Net Collaborative Program. Additionally, through programs like the city’s Flood Viewer, which helps residents make decisions about climate adaptation, and the Small Business Dashboard, which provides prospective business owners with vital information about their industry, Cambridge is empowering the community to make data-informed decisions.

What Works Cities Certification is a movement of cities that are doubling down on their commitment to building a more effective, more efficient, and more equitable local government that works for its residents, and using Certification as a roadmap for doing so. 

About What Works Cities:
What Work Cities, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, is a national initiative that helps cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. It is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. Through the initiative’s expert partners, cities around the country are receiving technical assistance, guidance and resources to succeed in making more informed decisions, tackling local challenges, and delivering more effective services and programs for their residents. Cities in the What Works Cities network also gain access to a collaborative network of peers in cities across the country. For more information, visit whatworkscities.org.

Page was posted on 6/29/2020 6:24 PM
Page was last modified on 7/24/2023 9:58 PM
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