FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 25, 2018
The city of Kansas City is being recognized for the excellent way it uses data to drive decision-making at City Hall.
More than 200 cities applied, and Kansas City is one of only nine to win a What Works Cities certification, which was announced on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
“This is a great recognition for the Office of Performance Management and the work these staffers do to crunch the numbers in a way that helps Councilmembers create better policies and staff become more efficient in our operations,” said City Manager Troy Schulte.
A What Works Cities Certification measures a city’s practices and policies using 50 criteria aligned with the What Works Cities Standard and WWC practice areas – open data, data governance, performance analytics, results-driven contracting, low-cost evaluation and repurpose for results. The 50 criteria reflect the practices city leaders can use to implement data – and evidence-based decision-making and advance the effectiveness of their governments.
WWC is the nation’s most comprehensive philanthropic initiative, helping local leaders identify and invest in what works.
Kansas City has long used data to drive progress toward its goals and encourage an ongoing conversation about data with residents.
Its KCStat performance management program was started in 2011 and holds public meetings monthly to monitor the City’s progress toward goals laid out in the Citywide Business Plan.
These goals cover key areas such as neighborhoods and healthy communities, finance and governance, public infrastructure, economic development, public safety, customer service and communication and housing.
To provide full transparency, the public is invited to attend KCStat meetings, the meeting airs live on Channel 2, is livesteamed on the city’s website, and a communications staffer live-tweets the stats shared. Many residents follow the tweets and comment.
The program is serving as a model for cities like Baltimore, San Diego, Little Rock, St. Louis and more than 20 other cities and counties that have reached out to our Office of Performance Management team for details.
The transparency continues through Open Data KC, the city’s public data portal, which provides the raw data so that residents can see the same numbers that staff and councilmembers see.
“People hate change,” Mayor James says. “You have to get past people’s emotional reactions to things. They get stuck.” Facts can help, he says, as well as build consistency in city operations. “As data becomes ingrained systemically in your operation, you can use facts and data to create, tweak, sustain, and perfect programs that will provide a real benefit to people, and it’s verifiable by the numbers.”
Major city initiatives have been launched because data showed the need. This includes the two-year, $10 million program to demolish every building on the city’s Dangerous Buildings list, and the 20-year, $800 million GO KC bond program to repair streets, sidewalks, bridges, fountains and public buildings.
For more information, please contact Kate Bender by email or 816-513-6567.