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Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Bizarre News: Honolulu selected to join national What Works Cities initiative
By News Release @ 8:13 PM :: 5659 Views :: Hawaii State Government

Honolulu selected to join national What Works Cities initiative

Joins 99 other cities committed to making city government more effective using data and evidence

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Jan 17, 2018

Honolulu Today, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that the City and County of Honolulu has been selected as one of five new cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ national What Work Cities initiative – one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector. Honolulu will receive technical assistance from world-class experts to build our capacity to address local issues using data and evidence.

“On an island of just 600 square miles and nearly one million residents in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it is to our great advantage to embrace all that technology has to offer in order to achieve the most efficient results,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Whether it’s providing city services such as driver license renewals and car registrations, to trash pick-up and zero-based budgeting, the City and County of Honolulu has embraced data-driven results so that we create less of a burden on our taxpayers. I want to thank Michael Bloomberg for his vision in creating the What Works Cities network.”  

Honolulu’s selection, along with that of Columbia, South Carolina, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Irving, Texas, and Long Beach, California was announced today by What Works Cities and Results for America, one of the initiative’s five partner organizations and the campaign manager.

“When cities know how to put data at the core of their decision-making, they’re equipped with the tools to best solve local challenges and serve their communities,” said Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities. “We’re excited to welcome these five cities and very proud to reach our goal of working with 100 cities across the United States.” 

With today’s new participating cities, What Works Cities is now partnering with 100 cities that are home to more than 31 million residents and have annual budgets exceeding $104 billion.

“Networking with other mayors and experts across the country is one of the many benefits of being named a member of the What Works Cities initiative, and the City and County of Honolulu plans to take full advantage of the opportunities that are available,” added Mayor Caldwell. “We want to learn more about what delivers proven results and take advantage of the experience of other municipalities on a variety of issues.”

With support from a consortium of expert partners, cities participating in the What Works initiative are identifying more effective ways to evaluate programs and improve performance; optimize resources to serve their communities; and address a range of social challenges – from public safety to affordable housing. What Works Cities participants also join the initiative’s extensive learning network of local leaders and global experts actively sharing best practices for outcomes-focused governance.

The mission of the Honolulu What Works Cities Workgroup is to develop a data management framework and governance process for departments across the City and County of Honolulu to better source, manage, and analyze data to inform key stakeholders, improve decision making, and effectively deliver services to the community. To lay the foundation for this work, the workgroup will undertake a focused project on the topic of chronically homeless persons to demonstrate the potential for this work, and the methods by which it can be achieved.

In addition, Honolulu’s Data Governance mission within the What Works Cities Workgroup is to ensure that the highest quality data are collected, used and made available to key stakeholders through coordinated efforts for the purpose of improving efficiency, protecting privacy and enabling better decision making by the administration and policymakers for the benefit of the citizens of the City and County of Honolulu.

The consortium of expert organizations assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies to deliver support to cities comprises the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation.

The five new cities joining What Works Cities today follow 95 cities already participating in the initiative, including: Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK; Arlington, TX; Athens, GA; Augusta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Boise, ID; Boulder, CO; Buffalo, NY; Bellevue, WA; Boston, MA; Cambridge, MA; Cape Coral, FL; Cary, NC; Charleston, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Charlotte, NC; Columbia, SC; Corona, CA; Denton, TX; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Downey, CA; Durham, NC; Fargo, ND; Fayetteville, NC; Fort Collins, CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Worth, TX; Gilbert, AZ; Glendale, AZ; Grand Rapids, MI; Greensboro, NC; Gresham, OR; Hartford, CT; Hayward, CA; Independence, MO; Indianapolis, IN; Irving, Texas; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; Laredo, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Lewisville, TX; Lexington, KY; Lincoln, NE; Little Rock, AR; Long Beach, CA; Louisville, KY; Madison, WI; Memphis, TN; Mesa, AZ; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Modesto, CA; Naperville, IL; Nashville, TN; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; Norfolk, VA; Oklahoma City, OK; Olathe, KS; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Riverside, CA; Salinas, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; Scottsdale, AZ; Saint Paul, MN; Sioux Falls, SD; South Bend, IN; Syracuse, NY; Tacoma, WA; Tempe, AZ; Topeka, KS; Tulsa, OK; Tyler, TX; Victorville, CA; Virginia Beach, VA; Waco, TX; Washington, DC; West Palm Beach, FL; Wichita, KS; and Winston-Salem, NC.

For more information:

The report “What Works Cities: How Local Governments Are Changing Lives” summarizes cities’ accomplishments with the initiative. For more information, visit


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