St. Paul to get pro bono help from national experts to guide innovation in city services

St. Paul has been selected for a national program that provides experts, free of charge, to help cities use data to improve the way services are provided.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “What Works Cities” was started last summer with eight cities and is now expanding with 13 more, including St. Paul. The program aims to help improve services, inform local decision making and engage residents. 

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said: “Free access to nationally renowned experts in data and performance management from institutions like Harvard University will seriously boost our ongoing efforts to innovate and deliver better results to St Paul, residents – at a better price.”

St. Paul officials say they will use consultants from Harvard, the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Government Excellence at John’s Hopkins University on these priorities:

  • Creating, codifying and standardizing citywide open data processes and policies;
  • Developing and piloting a service performance management system in four departments: Department of Safety and Inspections, Saint Paul Library, Department of Public Works and the Office of Financial Services; and
  • Adopting results-driven contracting strategies and other procurement best practices in street reconstruction contracts.

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