The City of Irving is one of three cities in Texas that has been awarded the 2021 What Works Cities Certification, which is the national standard of excellence in data-driven city governance. What Works Cities Certification evaluates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making.
The City of Irving, which achieved Certification at the silver level, is one of only 16 cities to be newly certified this year and one of 40 cities to be certified since the program launched in April 2017. What Works Cities is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges.
“The city’s commitment to analyzing and presenting data is proof of Irving’s dedication to open and transparent governance,” said Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer. “Using data to help drive key decisions allows us to implement and monitor best practices, as well as improve organizational efficiency as public servants.”
What Works Cities Certification assesses cities based on their data-driven decision-making practices, such as how data is used to set goals and track progress, allocate funding, evaluate the effectiveness of programs and achieve desired outcomes from contracts with outside vendors. The program also measures whether cities are publicly and transparently communicating their use of data and evidence.
Over the past year, the City of Irving has demonstrated measurable progress on foundational data practices. Notable examples of the city’s use of data include:
- Applying behavioral insights to reduce Municipal Court’s failure to appear rate.
- Empowering residents to solve pressing community issues through an eight-week program that engages alumni of Irving’s civic academy.
- Developing a data governance structure, open data policy and portal.
What Works Cities Certification was developed by a team of experts from Results for America in close consultation with the What Works Cities Certification Standard Committee. To evaluate cities, these experts conducted a rigorous validation process of cities' Certification assessments and participated in site visits to the highest-performing cities to determine the city’s Certification level.