Bloomberg Philanthropies names first 8 cities in What Works Cities program
Whoever said data wasn’t sexy likely didn’t see $42 million attached to it. That’s how much Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed to helping 100 mid-sized U.S. cities “enhance their use of data and evidence.” In layman’s terms, this means opening up everything from foreclosure rates and public transit performance to contract award amounts and employee headcount. […]Read More
Can Government Play Moneyball?
Based on our rough calculations, less than $1 out of every $100 of government spending is backed by even the most basic evidence that the money is being spent wisely. As former officials in the administrations of Barack Obama (Peter Orszag) and George W. Bush (John Bridgeland), we were flabbergasted by how blindly the federal […]Read More
Can we make our cities smarter?
Cities are gaining momentum as incubators for innovation. There is much excitement about the idea of cities as “laboratories of democracy.” As a result, cities can learn best practices from one another. Sharing this information can build a strong foundation to amplify and encourage experimentation. Recognizing the power of shared learning, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership […]Read More
How Constituent Feedback can Help Government
Social entrepreneurs are leading the way by using ‘constituent feedback’ to understand better what is working, for whom and in what circumstances. Consider, for example, the American non-profit organization LIFT, which has spent 15 years helping people lift themselves out of poverty. Recently, it has built on its success and improved outcomes by listening to […]Read More
An Afternoon with Peter Orszag and Jim Nussle
Everyone listened in excitedly as Nina Easton introduced the panelists to the audience that had gathered at the JFK Jr. Forum yesterday. As senior editor and columnist of Fortune Magazine and former resident fellow at the Institute of Politics, Easton experienced nothing short of an award-winning career with interviews of various luminaries including Hillary Clinton […]Read More
Taming big government by proxy
For the six years of the Obama presidency, or perhaps the last 35 years since Ronald Reagan’s election, American politics has been dominated by a debate on the size and role of the federal government. This argument, while intense and consequential, has often lacked one element: actual knowledge about the size and role of the […]Read More
Washington, we can do this
By now, everyone has heard of the story of baseball’s Oakland Athletics and their 2002 season, immortalized by Michael Lewis in the book (and the movie) Moneyball. Recognizing his team’s limitations and scarce resources, Oakland general manager Billy Beane pioneered the use of performance data, rather than unscientific scouting reports, to drive his player draft […]Read More
In politics, does evidence matter?
One of the lovely formulations in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural addressexpressed his hope that “a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion.” Kennedy was talking about the Cold War, but we could use a little of this in the partisan and ideological warfare that engulfs our nation’s capital. And so let us […]Read More
Can Government Play Moneyball?
If you scrambled to file your tax return by yesterday’s deadline, you might take comfort in knowing that most Americans — 55 percent in a 2013 Gallup poll — say the amount they pay in income tax is fair (although that figure has been higher in recent years). The number conceals big differences of opinion, of […]Read More