What Works Cities Certification Assessment Guide

2018 Certification Criteria

What Works Cities Certification is the standard of excellence for data-driven local government. The program’s 45 criteria outline the people, processes, and policies foundational to a well-managed city.

The criteria are grouped by eight foundational practices:

Under each foundational practice below, you’ll find a description of that work, followed by the questions that will be asked about your city’s practices. Use this guide to better understand the value of each practice, what is required to be able to answer “yes” to each question, and what supporting documentation will be required to verify your responses.

You can find definitions of terminology used below in our Certification Glossary. A PDF version of the Certification criteria is available here. If you have any questions, please email certification@whatworkscities.org.

Data Governance

  1. Your local government maintains a detailed and comprehensive data inventory that makes its data more discoverable and accessible.

Checklist (must meet 3 of the 4 below):

  • Your local government has a documented methodology for routinely collecting and updating the data inventory.
  • In the past 12 months, the inventory has been updated.
  • The inventory covers datasets from more than 80% of the departments in the local government.
  • A version of the data inventory is published online.

Required Supporting Documentation: 
A copy of the data inventory or link to the data inventory published online.

2. Your local government maintains a documented list of data governance responsibilities and meets at least quarterly to carry out those responsibilities.

Checklist:

  • Your local government has a designated leader (e.g., chief data officer) and/or data governance team responsible for developing and implementing data governance activities and policies.
  • Your local government maintains a written list of data governance responsibilities and who is assigned to carrying them out.
  • Your data governance process is guided by a statement of purpose or documented set of goals and objectives.
  • Committees engaged in data governance meet to carry out data governance responsibilities at least quarterly.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Minutes or agenda of your most recent data governance meeting.
  • Open data or data governance documents that describe the roles and responsibilities of the data governance team.
  • Statement of purpose, relevant clauses of enabling policy that identify the goals and objectives of a data governance body, or other official documents identifying the goals of your data governance process.
  • A schedule of your past year of data governance meetings.

3. Your local government has and carries out documented policies or practices to improve data quality.

Checklist:

  • Your local government identifies data quality problems by conducting a data quality audit.
  • Your local government implements processes to improve identified data quality problems.
  • Your local government documents standards for internal data so that certain common fields (e.g., street address) are consistent across the organization.
  • Your local government establishes feedback channels for data users to identify data quality issues.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A summary of your local government’s process to improve data quality.
  • Documents that describe what happens when local government staff identify a low-quality dataset and the process for improving the dataset before it is published.
  • An example of a dataset that has been improved through this process.

4. Your local government has documented policies or practices to protect the privacy and confidentiality of government-held data.

Checklist:

  • Your local government has a documented process to reduce the possibility of inadvertently releasing private or confidential data.
  • Your local government offers staff information or training about how to assess and reduce security risks associated with your data.
  • Your local government has a process for engaging residents and other external stakeholders in the government’s security risk management program.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A summary of your local government’s practices to protect private and confidential data.
  • Internal memos or training materials that inform local government staff who manage and use data about how to protect the privacy and confidentiality of residents.

5. Your local government has a documented and user-friendly process to expedite the sharing of data — including protected data — both cross-departmentally within the local government and with trusted outside partners.

Checklist:

  • Trusted outside partners can include academic researchers, contracted service providers, vendors, etc.
  • Your local government has a written process documenting how to share data internally or with trusted partners.
  • Your local government has a user-friendly method of collecting requests to share data and requires data-holders to respond in a timely way.
  • Your local government limits data-sharing agreements to datasets that are non-eligible for open data; otherwise, datasets are publicly shared.
  • Where there is a risk of liability, your local government uses data-sharing or data use agreements.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to an online channel to request or apply for data sharing.
  • Copy of relevant policy or process document.
  • An inventory of data sharing agreements.

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Evaluations

  1. Your local government has a policy or ordinance that encourages the use of rigorous evaluation methods for practices, programs, and/or policies.

Checklist:

  • The policy or ordinance does not have to be publicly available.
  • The policy or ordinance does not need to require rigorous evaluation in all cases.
  • The policy or ordinance allows the local government to adopt a “comply or explain” approach, requiring justification of why a program should be evaluated or why a program should not be evaluated.
  • Policies around the use of audits only qualify if the language includes the use of quasi-experimental evaluations.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Documents containing the policy or ordinance.

2. Your local government has defined standards, methodologies, or tools to help staff rigorously evaluate practices, programs, and/or policies.

Checklist:

  • The standards, methodologies, or tools support local government staff in conducting rigorous evaluations.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Documented defined standards, methodologies, or tools to help staff rigorously evaluate practices, programs, and/or policies.
  • Documents around the use of audits only qualify if the language includes the use of quasi-experimental evaluations.

3. Your local government requires that, as a condition of funding, new or renewed programs will be rigorously evaluated.

Checklist:

  • Requirement can be formal or informal.
  • Your local government should articulate a rigorous method for how it will determine whether the program is effective.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Budget memo or other relevant document that demonstrates new or renewed programs will be rigorously evaluated as a condition of funding.

4. In the past 12 months, your local government has launched two or more experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations.

Checklist:

  • Experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations can be launched with or without the support of external organizations (e.g., academic institutions, vendors).
  • The evaluation has been launched if the intervention has been implemented or if analysis of evaluation results has been completed.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A brief summary of two experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations that your local government has launched.
  • If evaluations are conducted in-house, examples and evidence of evaluations (e.g., report summarizing the evaluation and results) should be provided.
  • If evaluations are conducted with external organizations, formalized documentation that defines how the scope of the evaluation aligns with the goals of the local government should be provided.

5. In the past 12 months, your local government has used the results from experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations to make different, or to newly justify, decisions.

Checklist:

  • Decisions include different or newly justified changes to activities or policies.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • An example of a different, or newly justified, decision and how it was informed by evaluations.

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General Management

  1. Your mayor and/or chief executive communicates and demonstrates to staff that governing with data and evidence is an organizational expectation.

Checklist:

  • In the past 12 months, your mayor and/or chief executive has required data analysis, evaluation findings, or other evidence to inform at least two of her/his major decisions.
  • In the past 12 months, your local government’s mayor, chief executive, and/or executive team has communicated to staff, at least twice, the commitment to data-driven governance.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Provide one example of an internal staff email or memo or council presentation that clearly states leadership’s commitment to data-driven governance and establishes it as the organizational expectation.
  • Memos, reports, PowerPoints, recommendations made to the mayor and/or chief executive for action.

2. Your mayor and/or chief executive uses data and evidence to publicly communicate the work and impact of government.

Checklist (must meet 4 of the 6 below):

  • The mayor or chief executive communicated at least one such example in the most recent State of the City or equivalent address.
  • In the past 12 months, the mayor or chief executive has shared unique examples at least three times on her/his social media channel(s).
  • In the past 12 months, there have been at least two unique instances of the mayor or chief executive publicly engaging residents about the local government’s data and evidence work.
  • In the past 12 months, the mayor or chief executive has communicated unique examples via two or more pieces of owned media (e.g., a blog post, a video, a public newsletter, etc.).
  • In the past 12 months, the mayor or chief executive has communicated unique examples via two or more pieces of earned media (e.g., a news clip, a TV spot, an op-ed, etc.).
  • In the past 12 months, the mayor or chief executive has referenced unique examples in at least two public appearances other than the State of the City (e.g., at conferences, panels, presentations to local groups, etc.).

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A link to the most recent State of the City or equivalent address during which the mayor and/or chief executive used data and evidence to publicly communicate the work and impact of government.
  • Handles for the mayor’s and/or chief executive’s social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.).
  • Earned or owned media pieces from the past 12 months in which your mayor and/or chief executive used data and evidence to communicate the work and impact of government.

3. Your local government regularly uses public communications to share examples of how it is governing using data and evidence and/or stories of progress made as a result.

Checklist (must meet 4 of the 7 below and examples must be different than the ones provided to support GM2):

In the past 12 months, the local government can demonstrate unique examples of the following public communications:

  • Four or more posts on its social media channels.
  • Two or more pieces of owned media (e.g., a blog post, a video, a public newsletter, etc.).
  • One or more pieces of earned media (e.g., a news clip, a TV spot, an op-ed, etc.).
  • Three or more public presentations or speeches (e.g., at conferences, panels, presentations to local groups, etc.).
  • One example of a resource created to help residents understand how to use a municipal data tool (e.g., announcing the launch of an interactive site that breaks down the municipal budget, releasing a video on how to use the municipal open data portal, etc.).
  • One example of a public announcement (e.g., via a press release, social media posts, earned or owned media, etc. that complemented a major data achievement (e.g., the launch of an open data portal, data-informed improvements to a program, resources saved as a result of using data, etc.).
  • One example of how community members have used municipal data and/or achievements made as a result.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Handles for the local government’s most prominent social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.).
  • Earned or owned media from the past 12 months in which your local government publicly communicated how it is governing using data and evidence and/or stories of progress made as a result.

4. Your local government has a designated leader and/or team responsible for developing and implementing citywide performance management practices.

Checklist:

The performance management team should include people who fill the following roles:

  • Principal: The Mayor, City Manager, or another (typically elected or appointed) leader who has the desire to manage a government, or a branch of a government, utilizing an evidence-based approach
  • Agency or department heads or their representatives
  • Stat lead: An appointed member of the principal’s team who is responsible for overseeing departments through the performance management process
  • Analyst: The person responsible for collecting and managing the data used in the performance management program, and preparing analyses and reports of departmental data
  • Department contact
  • Data experts
  • Community members (optional)

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Names, titles and email address of the designated leader and/or team responsible for developing and implementing citywide performance management practices.
  • Performance management documents should describe team members and their roles and responsibilities. Designated team members should also be able to clearly articulate the role they play in the local government’s data governance efforts. When possible, organizational charts and job descriptions could suffice.

5. Your local government has a designated leader and/or team responsible for developing and implementing citywide data governance practices and policies.

Checklist:

The data governance team typically includes the following people:

  • Deputy Mayor, Assistant City Manager, or another senior executive, who serves as the committee chair
  • Council members or designees (if a law or ordinance was passed and sponsors expect to be engaged on an ongoing basis)
  • Chief counsel
  • Press or communications manager
  • Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, or Chief Data Officer
  • Project manager
  • Agency or department heads or their representatives
  • Data managers from all relevant agencies and departments
  • Community members

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Names, titles and email address of the designated leader and/or team responsible for developing and implementing citywide data governance practices and policies.
  • Data Governance documents should describe team members and their roles and responsibilities. Designated team members should also be able to clearly articulate the role they play in the local government’s data governance efforts. When possible, organizational charts and job descriptions could suffice.

6. Your local government has a designated leader and/or team responsible for helping departments conduct experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations.

Checklist:

  • Your local government has one or more individuals with appropriate skills to lead the design, implementation, and evaluation of experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations.
  • Alternatively, your local government has established effective relationships with external organizations (e.g., academic institutions, vendors) with the appropriate skills. Further, the leader or team within the local government manages the evaluation projects that the external organizations help plan and conduct.
  • There is a process to match their expertise with evaluation topics that enable the leader or team to work on priority projects across the local government (i.e., across departments).

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Names, titles and email address of the designated leader and/or team responsible for helping departments conduct experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations.
  • Names of relevant staff and their roles and responsibilities. Designated team members should also be able to clearly articulate the role they play in the local government’s evaluation efforts. Organizational charts and job descriptions could suffice.

7. Your local government has a designated leader and/or team responsible for applying results-driven contracting strategies to its portfolio of upcoming key procurements, contracts, and/or grants citywide or within departments.

Checklist (must have 1 of 2 below):

  • Designated leaders and/or the team will be in a senior position in a centralized office (e.g., Procurement Office, Budget Office, Innovation Office, Mayor’s Office, etc.), OR
  • Designated leaders and/or the team within departments have succeeded in broadly applying results-driven contracting to their most important procurements with assistance from a centralized office.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Names, titles, and email addresses of the designated leader and/or team responsible for applying results-driven contracting strategies.
  • Job descriptions of the designated leader and/or team members identified.
  • A description of strategic procurement at the citywide or department level.
  • Example meeting agendas or datasets/dashboards for strategic procurement system meetings.

8. Your local government provides access to trainings for all local government staff on how to use data and evidence to make decisions.

Checklist:

  • Trainings can be both internal or external, virtual or in-person, or offered through a data academy, etc.
  • Your local government communicates inside and outside of government about newly available data or opportunities to get involved with its data program.
  • Your local government holds in-person or online events that feature organizational data or insights from organizational data.
  • Your local government seeks relationships with external researchers who might be able to use organizational data to provide the local government with useful insights.
  • Your local government conducts internal training to ensure that staff can make good use of organizational data in their daily work.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A summary of the trainings held for local government staff as described above.
  • Sample agendas and presentations from trainings, curricula, and feedback from participants.

9. Your local government has documented and carried out strategies to embed, deepen, and/or spread the strategic use of data within and across your government.

Checklist:

In the past 12 months, the local government has done the following:

  • Drafted and made accessible to staff and/or residents a value proposition and scope of services for its key data and analytics services.
  • Developed an internal strategy for adopting data practices that accounts for behavioral shifts, culture preferences, and norms.
  • Provided opportunities for key users to incorporate their feedback into the design of those services.
  • Developed an internal communications strategy to educate staff on the value proposition of key data informed practices.
  • Developed strategies to upskill key local government staff and users on leveraging data and evidence to make decisions.
  • Documented strategy for maintaining data capacity across administration transitions.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Narrative on how your government has spread the use of strategic data within and across the government.
  • Culture building, change management, and/or internal communications strategy documentation.
  • Links to or documentation of defined value proposition and scope of services for data and analytics practices.
  • Documentation of internal training opportunities, such as a data academy.
  • Program transition planning documentation or incorporation into workflows.

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Open Data

  1. Your local government has a publicly available, codified open data policy that commits to data transparency and proactive public disclosure of local government data and data practices.

Checklist:

  • The policy creates a governance structure for the proactive release of public information.
  • The policy requires at least annual public reporting.
  • The policy provides opportunities for public input.
  • The policy ensures periodic review of policy language and implementation practice.
  • The policy commits to public disclosure of decision-making pertaining to collection, prioritization, storage, use, analysis, and publication of public data and information, including explanation for sensitive, protected, or other information ineligible for release.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to the publicly available open data policy.

2. Your local government has a documented process for publishing open data.

Checklist:

  • The process includes ensuring consistent metadata.
  • The process forces local government employees to review data quality before it is published.
  • The process prevents the inadvertent release of protected data.
  • The process includes mandated opportunities for public comment or feedback collection.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Open data governance documents that detail the open data publishing process.

3. Your local government publishes open data to a central, public online location.

Checklist:

  • The central online location should be appropriately contextualized with clear language, contact information, relevant policies and/or reports, and other documents.
  • The publicly available data should be machine-readable, downloadable, and freely available.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to your local government’s open data portal.

4. Your local government adopts Civic Data Standards.

Checklist:

  • Your local government uses at least one common data standard (e.g., GTFS).
  • In the past 12 months, your local government has explored an application of at least one additional civic data standard.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Name the Civic Data Standard your local government uses.
  • Sample dataset, along with naming the conforming standard.

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Performance & Analytics

  1. Your local government identifies strategic goals, aligns a diverse set of measures with those goals, and uses data to evaluate progress toward them.

Checklist:

  • Your local government documents its key citywide priorities and/or goals (e.g., strategic plan, visioning statement, etc.).
  • Your local government has assigned targets, metrics, and a timeframe for measuring progress toward the achievement of a publicly stated strategic goal(s).

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to strategic goals that are citywide, time-bound, specific, and measurable.

2. Your local government holds performance management meetings during which it reviews data, discusses insights, and makes decisions about its strategic goals at least quarterly.

Checklist:

  • Senior leadership regularly attends performance management meetings.
  • Your local government has a designated process for conducting analysis, preparation, and follow-up for each performance management meeting.
  • Performance management meetings are used to review data to spur critical thinking about the achievement of shared goals.
  • Your local government has a set schedule for performance management meetings.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Minutes or agenda of your most recent performance management meeting.
  • Schedule of upcoming performance management meetings.
  • Stat memos or presentations.
  • Video of or minutes from previous meetings.

3. Your local government regularly shares its strategic goals, performance measures, and progress toward achieving those goals with the public.

Checklist:

  • Your local government documents its key citywide priorities and/or goals (e.g., strategic plan, visioning statement, etc.).
  • Your local government has assigned targets, metrics, and a timeframe for measuring progress toward the achievement of a publicly stated strategic goal(s).

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to where progress toward strategic goals is publicly shared.
  • Strategic plans posted online.
  • Text, audio, or video of major speeches (e.g., State of the City etc.) and/or other public appearances.
  • Links to social media posts.

4. Your local government has documented policies or practices to manage the risk of data breach, loss, or unauthorized manipulation.

Checklist:

  • Existence of a Chief Information Security Officer or similar role and/or function.
  • An audit mechanism, even if the audit is done by a third party or other independent agency and/or authority.
  • Training to update city staff on policies and procedures.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Name, title and email address of the Chief Information Security Officer or similar role and/or function for your local government.
  • Copy of relevant documented policy and/or practice.
  • Job descriptions.
  • Evidence that trainings to city staff on policies and procedures took place.

5. Your local government has documented policies or practices aimed at harnessing the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) while reducing associated risks.

Checklist:

  • Your local government documents where and how automated decisions are taking place, what risks they present, and the strategies in place to mitigate those risks.
  • Your local government routinely engages with residents to gather feedback and concerns about how data is used by the local government and its partners.
  • Your local government has documented policies or practices to attempt to reduce the impact of demographic or geographic bias.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A summary of the practices used by your local government to reduce risks associated with automated decisions and artificial intelligence (AI).

6. Your local government leaders have the ability to access and incorporate data analysis when necessary for strategic decision-making.

Checklist:

Local government leaders have the ability to access some of the following when necessary for data-focused or performance management meetings:

  • Descriptive analysis (averages, counts, maximums/minimums)
  • Diagnostic analysis (regression, correlation, data mining)
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Prescriptive analysis (algorithms)

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • An example of data analysis that was utilized to make strategic decisions.
  • Sample performance management memos and/or presentations, Excel spreadsheets, R code and output, or results from complete projects.

7. Your local government uses analysis produced as part of your local government’s performance and/or analytics program to inform decisions about resource allocation, hiring, and/or service delivery.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • An example of a specific instance where policy decisions were made as a result of your local government’s performance and/or analytics program.
  • Examples of analysis conducted, including memos and presentations from performance management meetings. Local governments should point to specific instances where policy decisions were made.

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Repurposing

  1. Your local government uses data to align its budget process with its strategic priorities.

Checklist:

  • The process requires budget proposals, requests, and/or renewals be tied to strategic priorities, performance, data, and/or evidence.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A budget request form, budget renewal form, or budget memo.

2. Your local government has a documented process, informed by data analysis and resident feedback, for determining when a program should be discontinued.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A summary of the process that is used to determine when a program should be discontinued.
  • Internal process or external policy, resolution, and/or ordinance (e.g., budget, performance management).

3. Your local government has made a different or newly justified budget decision about a practice, program, or policy based on analyzed data.

Checklist:

  • Your local government documents its key citywide priorities and/or goals (e.g., strategic plan, visioning statement, etc.).
  • Your local government has assigned targets, metrics, and a timeframe for measuring progress toward the achievement of a publicly stated strategic goal(s).

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • An example of a different or newly justified budget decision that was made based on analyzed data.

4. In the past 24 months, your local government has shifted (or begun the process of shifting) funding away from a program that has failed to achieve its desired outcomes toward a new program.

Checklist:

  • Outline the process the local government is pursuing, or has pursued, including identification of the particular practice, program, or policy that is being affected.
  • Program is shown to be ineffective through data analysis or evaluation, and resident feedback.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • An example of when funds were shifted away from a program that failed to achieve its desired outcomes toward a new program.

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Results-Driven Contracting

  1. Your local government defines strategic goals and desired outcomes for key procurements, contracts, and/or grants.

Checklist:

  • Outcomes and desired outcomes should be specific, clearly stated, and should make sense in the context of the product or service being acquired.
  • Examples provided should be for at least three different types of key procurements, contracts, and/or grants.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • One example of either a procurement (e.g., RFPs, RFQs), contract, or grant to acquire a good or service.
  • Two additional unique examples of either procurements (e.g.), RFPs, RFQs). contracts, or grants to acquire two different goods or services (i.e., they cannot be three contracts for shelter services, but could be an RFP for shelter services, an RFP for supportive housing, and a contract for transitional housing).

2. Your local government measures outcomes, impacts, and/or cost-effectiveness for key procurements, contracts, and/or grants.

Checklist:

  • The performance tracking system should be aligned with the strategic goals and desired outcomes of the key procurements, contracts, and/or grants, and should allow your local government to track progress toward those goals.
  • Your local government should be able to use the performance tracking system to flag when vendor performance is off-track during the course of the contract.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Evidence must be supported by the same examples used in the first Results-Driven Contracting criterion.

3. Your local government has mechanisms in place to compare the performance of similar contractors and determine which are most effective.

Checklist:

  • Your local government should provide materials used to track data for comparing performance (e.g., vendor report cards, dashboard/reports with process and outcome metrics, etc.) for at least one product or service type.
  • Your local government should provide contracts of similar vendors providing similar products or services to make sure consistent metrics are outlined, given the goals of the contract. Contracts may include additional metrics that are specific to a contractor that are not also used to measure performance of similar contractors.
  • If your local government compares performance using administrative information (i.e., not reported by contractors), you should provide copies of performance reports of similar contractors providing similar products or services. Examples of such contractors include contractors providing waste collection services, contractors providing architecture services, or contractors providing workforce development services to a high needs population.
  • Note that when comparing performance of social service providers, it is important to account for the differences in target populations as well as potential external factors that could influence observed outcomes.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Vendor score cards/report cards or dashboards comparing vendors across a consistent set of metrics.
  • Examples of contracts with vendors providing similar products or services that outline consistent metrics and/or performance reports of similar vendors.

4. Your local government structures procurements, contracts, and/or grants to align the vendor’s incentives with the local government’s strategic goals.

Checklist:

  • To qualify, you may demonstrate structuring the procurement, contract, and/or grant in terms of any of the following, based on desired outcomes:
    1. Procurement vehicle (e.g., problem-based, agile, or design build structures)
    2. Contract type/Payment mechanism (e.g., fixed-price, cost-type, performance-based, etc.)
    3. Vendor selection criteria
    4. Scope of work
  • Your government should explain how your local government thought carefully about the objective and how to structure the contract and payment type to best achieve desired outcomes in the three examples.Your government should explain how theprocurement/contract structure is setting the local government up for success.
  • Your government should explain how decisions on the right procurement structure for each vendor are made.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Evidence must be supported by the same examples used in the first Results-Driven Contracting criterion.

5. Your local government actively manages contracts, using performance data to troubleshoot challenges and achieve desired outcomes, by engaging with contractors at least monthly during the course of the contract.

Checklist:

  • Your local government has examples of how performance data was used to identify a challenge and how the local government then engaged with the vendor to design a course correction during the contract term.
  • Your local government collects and shares performance data with contractors.
  • Your local government uses performance data to identify challenges.
  • Your local government engages contractors at least monthly to course correct when challenges are identified. Meetings for compliance purposes do not qualify.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Examples of how performance data was used to identify a challenge and how the local government then engaged with the vendor to design a course correction during the contract term. Evidence must be supported by the same three examples used in the first and second Results-Driven Contracting criteria.

6. Your local government reviews vendor performance data to inform future contracting decisions, including the selection of vendors, renewal of contracts, and/or expansion of existing scopes.

Checklist:

  • Evidence that allocation of expansion of an existing scope of work is informed by performance, RFPs that specify that the selection of the vendor/service provider will be decided in part by past performance, and evidence that past performance data of similar contractors is shared across departments.
  • Required Supporting Documentation:
  • An example of when vendor performance data informed future contracting decisions.
  • Contracts that specify contract renewal depend (in part) on using clearly defined process and outcome metrics and possibly some qualitative information (i.e., Was the vendor responsive?, a good collaborator?)
  • Examples and/or evidence that allocation or expansion of an existing scope of work under current contracts is informed by performance.
  • RFPs that specify that the selection of the vendor will be decided in part by past performance of that vendor.
  • Past performance data of similar contractors across departments.

7. Your local government proactively shares data, documents, and information about contracts, procurement, and/or vendor performance, in order to increase bid competitiveness and strengthen procurement transparency and accountability.

Checklist:

  • Your local government shares data on contracting using as much of the Open Contracting Data Standard requirements as possible.
  • Your local government shares a list of procurements set to expire or upcoming in the next 6–12 months. Data fields: project name, project description, estimated timing, estimated dollar size.
  • Your local government shares previous contracts that are downloadable and machine readable.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to shared data, documents, information about contracts, procurement and/or vendor performance.

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Stakeholder Engagement

  1. Your local government tracks and documents insights about open data users and open data applications, and incorporates user needs into the design and implementation of its open data and transparency practices.

Checklist:

  • Your open data team analyzes data download statistics, website usage statistics, public records request counts, or other existing internal datasets to inform open data releases or open data portal design.
  • Your local government has established online channels for residents to provide questions or comments around open data, including online feedback forms or crowdlaw platforms.
  • User personas or use cases for open data are developed based on design research on examples of internal or external data use, or by using collaborative workshop techniques.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to an online feedback form for your local government’s open data.
  • Results of analysis or demand-signal datasets, online feedback form or crowdlaw platforms in use, and a written explanation of primary use cases for City open data.

2. Your local government provides clear how-to guidance to help residents access and use city data.

Checklist:

  • Your local government’s how-to guidance or open source code helps residents analyze, engage, or apply specific datasets for at least one dataset or tool.
  • Your local government has provided at least one annual in-person and/or online training to support data users in accessing, understanding, or using publicly available datasets.
  • Your local government partners with local open data experts to fill additional capacity for public “help desk support” for open data use or community training for local data users.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • A link to your local government’s how-to guidance to help residents access and use city data.
  • Evidence that public guidance on how to use data was published or that public data training took place, including contact information for participating community partners.
  • Open source documentation for online open data tools.

3. Your local government provides a clear process for partnership and collaboration with data users for the purpose of inviting community members to use public city data to solve pressing community issues.

Checklist:

  • Your open data team makes public calls for partnership or collaboration on their website or through a structured, formal channel.
  • Your local government provides application-based grant funding for projects that are required to use open data.
  • Your local government regularly collaborates with community members on hands-on coding or data use projects.

Required Supporting Documentation:

  • Link to online partnership application or online call/announcement.
  • Grant requirements to use open data.
  • Results of community-driven collaboration using city open data.

4. Your local government supports efforts to educate, activate, or upskill partners (e.g., civic groups, vendors, service providers) to better understand and utilize administrative and performance data to deepen community impact.

Checklist:

  • Your local government facilitates meetings of stakeholders or dedicates open data team staff to participate in community-run events or non-open data department events to find ways to generate community impact from city data.
  • Your open data team user-tested at least one open data product and/or tool in the past 12 months.
  • Your open data team conducted in-person demonstrations of at least one open data product or tool in the past year using local government resources, local government space, or local government financial sponsorship for the demo.
  • Required Supporting Documentation:
  • A summary of efforts made to educate, activate, or upskill partners to better understand and utilize administrative and performance data.
  • User testing results (synthesized feedback/summary of results from user testing).
  • Evidence of open data demonstrations.

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