Evaluating City Accelerator: Outcomes and Stories from Cohort on Engagement
What the Evaluators Saw: What the Cities Did, How They Did It, and Why It Matters
Editor’s Note: The work of the City Accelerator is being evaluated on an ongoing basis by a firm called Equal Measure, which is under contract to monitor the performance of Living Cities in running the program, including how well it supports the participating cities in doing the work in the field. Equal Measure has prepared “The Q List,” a report that summarizes top lessons and findings from the projects of Cohort II.
In fall 2014, the Citi Foundation andLiving Cities launched the City Accelerator, a three-year, $3 million program designed to foster innovation among city governments to address the pressing challenges facing low-income residents. The City Accelerator began work with three initial cohorts of cities, with each cohort running for 18 months to advance innovative efforts that improve the lives of low-income people. The second cohort launched in March 2015 – with Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; New Orleans, LA; and Seattle, WA. This cohort was focused on revitalizing community engagement. Understanding that a lack of communication, effective listening and relationship-building can compromise even the most promising projects and programs, these cities are experimenting with innovative approaches to engage their low-income residents and embed those strategies in ongoing operations.
In particular, cities are strategically using data from target populations to inform the implementation of their programs and allocating resources effectively to enhance their collective reach. In addition, they are enforcing policy changes to ensure improvements to service delivery have a lasting effect on their communities.