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What Works Cities, an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, pairs midsized cities with expert partners -– the Government Performance Lab at Harvard Kennedy School, the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University (GovEx), Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation -– for technical assistance in better using data and evidence. After two years of work with 77 cities across the United States, the appropriately named program identified the key characteristics of a city devoted to using data to comprehensively identify, well, what works. Driven by the desire to share that knowledge more broadly, What Works designed its newly-announced Certification program to recognize high-performing cities across these criteria, to create an objective standard of success, and to help cities at any point in the data journey understand how they can improve their practices. As Jenn Park, Associate Director for What Works Cities, said, “We want to be able to show the world what the best cities are doing. The Certification program is made to be able to do just that – publicly validate, recognize, and celebrate cities that are doing this at the highest level.”

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