What We're Reading and Following This Week
Using Innovation and Technology to Improve City Services
In this report from IBM's Center for The Business of Government, Professor Sherri Greenberg examines a dozen cities across the United States that have award-winning reputations for using innovation and technology to improve the services they provide to their residents, and explores a variety of success factors associated with effective service delivery at the local level.
We think these seven practical principles for data sharing from StriveTogether are particularly well-suited for cross-sector partnerships. "StriveTogether and the Data Quality Campaign have released a new Data Sharing Playbook to help community organizations effectively partner with schools on data-driven ways to improve education outcomes."
Great read from John Boik, Lorenzo Fioramonti, and Gary Milante in foreignpolicy.com on the challenges our democratic systems have in solving our complex modern problems: “Civil society groups, cities, organizations, and government agencies have begun to experiment with a host of innovations that promote decentralization, redundancy, inclusion, and diversity. These include participatory budgeting, where residents of a city democratically choose how public monies are spent. They also include local currency systems, open-source development, open-design, open-data and open-government, public banking, “buy local” campaigns, crowdfunding, and socially responsible business models."
From the 4 C's of Credit to the 4 P's of Pay for Success
In this blog from Living Cities, Andy Rachlin of The Reinvestment Fund and Eileen Neely of Living Cities Capital Innovation cluster rethink the framework for underwriting pay for success initiatives, shifting from the classic four “C’s” of credit – character, collateral, capacity, and capital – to the four “P’s” of of pay for success – partnership, program, policy, process. “Do the partners instinctively frame work in shared terms? Can the partners clearly identify challenges they have faced in working together, and do their responses to those challenges suggest an ability to clearly communicate, put self-interest aside and compromise to find a solution? Do the partners have strong interpersonal relationships? The answers to these questions speak volumes.”
Open Datafest: 4 Tenets of a Successful Open Data Plan
At the recent annual Health and Human Services Open Datafest in Sacramento, California, innovation leaders from San Francisco and Los Angeles sat down to talk open data and articulated four tenets of designing successful open data plans: foregoing typical triages of data inventories and starting with a strategic focus on the city’s core objectives; creating data portals that are relevant to developers, journalists, citizens and researchers; building a common community identity among civic hacking communities; and collaborating with others to build coalitions around open data. “There’s really only so much you can do by yourself,” said Jason Lally, San Francisco’s Open Data Program Manager. “You really have to build coalitions within the city.”
Introducing the Pay for Success Initiative at the Urban Institute
Urban Institute announced last week that it will receive $8.4 million in funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to help launch a new Pay for Success Initiative. "While these new social financing strategies have the potential to improve our communities, current deals are also complex. Such grand endeavors require coordination to ensure rigorous, transparent, and objective guidance and support...The Urban Institute is well-suited to help play that role."
We now publish a weekly briefing on our blog each Friday to capture the new intersector collaborations surfacing across the United States and new, fascinating research and commentary emerging that provides insight into the intersector – the space where collaboration among government, business, and non-profit sectors enables leaders to share expertise, resources, and authority to address society’s most pressing problems.