Friday, Jun 23, 2017
City of Little Rock Public Relations (501) 371-4421L. Lamor Williams
LITTLE ROCK (June 20, 2017) – The City of Little Rock has been recognized as a leader in the What Works Cities program that’s helping municipalities around the country use their data to make better decisions, improve processes for better service delivery and engage with their citizens around data.
In a report from What Works Cities (WWC) released on June 16, 2017 celebrating the accomplishments of the participating cities over the last two years, Little Rock was touted for being among those cities working with the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) to use data to help inform recruitment messages for police departments. WWC reports that Chattanooga, Tenn., is the first city to work with BIT and as a result has since seen its most diverse applicant pool to date.
Bruce Moore, Little Rock’s city manager said that while the program here is still young – the City joined WWC in March 2016 – he’s excited about what it means for the City’s future.
“During our engagement with the WWC partners such as the Sunlight Foundation, we became the first city in Arkansas to pass an Open Data Policy. This is huge, because it shows the city’s commitment to release the city’s data in a proactive way and use it to inform our decisions on where we put resources,” Moore said. “We also worked to put together a framework for performance measurements that we want to put in place to provide more efficient results for our employees, residents and visitors alike.”
Melissa Bridges, the City’s performance and innovation coordinator said the city has made great strides in the past year, but we still have a long way to go. While continuing to work with city departments to release data on the city’s open data portal (https://data.littlerock.gov), the performance measure work will involve cross-departmental teams to tackle specific issues in the city.
She said Little Rock residents are currently being invited to participate in the Housing & Neighborhood Programs CodeStat meetings and there will be soon be other forums for the community to share input and guide implementation of the What Works Cities initiative.
“They will be quality of life meetings,” she said. “We’re not going to look at just one piece of the puzzle. We want to bring everybody to the table so that we get a holistic view of what’s going on in our city. We’ll be taking feedback from the residents about what other data we may need to look at.”
Led by Bridges, Little Rock’s WWC initiative is focused on key quality-of-life priorities including: increased data transparency, collaboration among police and 311 stakeholders, and streamlining procurement practices.