City of Syracuse Awarded Gold Certification from What Works Cities
Published on June 22, 2023
Mayor Walsh announced that Results for America has awarded the City of Syracuse with Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification at the Gold-Level for exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate program effectiveness, and engage residents. What Works Cities Certification sets the standard of excellence for data-informed, well-managed local government.
“By leading with data, the City of Syracuse is able to provide residents with tangible and equitable outcomes. I am pleased that our practices have earned Syracuse its new Gold-Level Certification, demonstrating the City’s commitment to investments in data infrastructure, data governance and internal data literacy,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “I thank Bloomberg Philanthropies and Results for America’s What Works Cities program for its continued investment in Syracuse, and to the City’s Accountability, Performance and Innovation (API) team for working hard to ensure decisions are backed by data and made with equity in mind.”
In 2022, What Works Cities Certification released updated criteria for cities to achieve recognition for excellence in using data to improve residents’ lives. The new criteria embed equity priorities and better reflect the evolving best practices of data-informed governance so that cities move beyond achieving only pockets of excellence to achieving citywide scale and maximum resident impact.
Additionally, Certification is now requiring cities to show that they meet an internationally recognized standard on at least one of three outcomes: air pollution, the percentage of households with high-speed broadband subscriptions, or a high-priority outcome the city chooses that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). With low air pollution and 76% of households who have access to broadband internet, Syracuse has met two of the UN’s development goals.
Since its inception in 2017, 62 cities have achieved What Works Cities Certification. In today’s announcement, Syracuse joins seven newly Certified cities, six other currently Certified cities which have achieved a higher Certification level and seven cities being re-Certified. A city that achieves 51–67 percent of the 43 criteria is recognized at the Silver level of Certification, and 68–84 percent is required to achieve Gold.
Some examples of how Syracuse City Government is leveling up its use of data include:
“Under the new criteria, these cities have shown that they’re not just leading with data—they’re using data to make lives better by prioritizing equity and resident wellbeing,” said Rochelle Haynes, Managing Director of What Works Cities Certification. “Leaders from the seven cities join hundreds of data champions in our Certification community, where they will continue to grow their data practices, share innovative ideas, and inspire communities at all points on their data journey.”
“The Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification continues to raise the bar for policymakers committed to leveraging data to understand community needs and deliver on resident priorities,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We’re proud to welcome these newly Certified cities into this fast-growing international community and see the use — and impact — of the What Works Cities’ standard of excellence expand and improve lives.”
The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies and led by Results for America, is open to any city in North, Central or South America with a population of 30,000 or more. To learn more, visit whatworkscities.org.
About What Works Cities Certification:
The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies (bloomberg.org) and led by Results for America (results4america.org), is the first-of-its-kind standard of excellence for data-informed, well-managed local government. What Works Cities Certification recognizes and celebrates local governments for their exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate the effectiveness of programs and engage residents.