The City of Memphis has Achieved Silver Certification!

Memphis is recognized as a leader in data-driven, well-managed local government.
“We are extremely proud to receive the Silver designation from What Works Cities. Since taking office, our team has been dedicated to improving services, and we know using data and holding each other accountable is the best way to achieve our goals. It improves the public's faith in government not only by improving service but by showing them the data. Even when the data is not good, it improves faith. And I think in Memphis in particular, but throughout the country, we must restore faith in government."
-Mayor Jim Strickland
The City of Memphis has received a major validation of its hard work to build a data-driven government. What Works Cities certification rates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making. Memphis was certified in 2019 with six other cities across the nation that are leading the way at using data to improve citizens’ lives.
Cities are evaluated on factors such as whether they have dedicated staff responsible for helping departments use data to track their progress; whether contracts are awarded based on past performance; meetings are focused on numbers; key datasets are open to the public; and whether there is transparency both in the goals set and the progress toward achieving them. Cities must demonstrate that they have policies in place to manage the risks associated with sophisticated data practices. The program also requires that cities publicly communicate their use of data best practices and engage community stakeholders in the process.
The process to apply for certification required a major effort from Mayor Strickland and his entire leadership team, Office of Performance Management, Information Services Division, Innovate Memphis, as well as other key players. The assessment process alone was rewarding because it allowed a comparison of practices against other major cities. The City has a collective understanding of its ability to make evidence-based improvements and can more clearly see opportunities to partner with organizations interested in pushing Memphis forward.
Today, you can be proud of a government in which division directors implement or change programs based on data — and where our senior leaders often compete with each other to see just how much we can measure to learn about how to better serve Memphians.
-Mayor Jim Strickland
What Work Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative, helps cities use data and evidence to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. The initiative’s What Works Cities Certification program is the first-of-its-kind national standard of excellence in city governance that evaluates how well cities are managed and whether cities have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision-making. Through the initiative’s expert partners, cities around the country are receiving support, guidance and resources to succeed. For more information, visit whatworkscities.org.