Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance

The Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance will help 100 mayors accelerate their data practices and deliver exceptional results for residents. 

Over the past decade, local leaders have made incredible progress toward using data to make decisions, shape policy, understand challenges, design and pursue solutions, and evaluate progress.  

Now, city leaders are exceptionally well positioned to take their data expertise to the next levelto advance equity, to better engage, inform, and inspire residents, and to think outside of the box to solve tough problems.

Sign up here for updates about the next application period.


What is the Opportunity?

The Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance will identify the 100 mayors across North, Central, and South America who are the most sophisticated, ambitious, and advanced at harnessing data and help them use data to power better results for residents. The City Data Alliance will support mayors to:

  • Become ever more confident consumers and users of data to understand progress and challenges;
  • Leverage data to enhance equity, performance, and other key goals through foundational city processes like HR, procurement, and budgeting;
  • Engage residents around data that matters in their lives; and
  • Deliver high impact services.

    What Does the Program Offer?

    The program is designed for those mayors that are already committed to using data to improve lives and want to go to the next level. The two parts of the program provide a unique opportunity for mayors and their senior teams to deepen the ways cities use data to inform decisions, understand impact, and communicate results.

    • Participating mayors and their senior teams will receive a six-month acceleration program including executive education and individualized city coaching and consultation. This includes individual coaching sessions, workshops with peer cities from across North, Central, and South America, and keynote instruction from leading international experts. This suite of supports will position mayors to set ambitious targets for their work, ask tough questions, invest in proven practices, and evaluate progress on their top goals.
    • In coordination with the acceleration program, cities will also participate in an up to 12-month investment to improve a critical data practice such as performance management, procurement, evaluation, or data as a service. With hands-on support from an expert partner, the city will apply the practice to a top mayoral priority, while building the policies and infrastructure for that practice to be adopted citywide.

    What Does the Six-Month City Data Alliance Accelerator Offer?

    Through this training, mayors and their senior teams will learn to: 

    1. Lead confidently with data, including knowing how to integrate data practices into their daily routines and decision making;
    2. Invest in the right people, practices and platforms, including how to attract and retain new data talent and invest in existing talent, and prioritize the investments that can advance data practices in your city; and
    3. Empower people to be part of the solution, including how to ask internal and external stakeholders to come to the table with data, and effectively communicate with staff and residents using data.


    What are the critical data practices?

    Performance Management

    World-class service delivery requires that mayors take a world-class approach to performance management. This track will distill best practices from around the globe and offer technical support to help city leaders establish routines and processes to manage and measure their highest-priority projects.


    Understanding what works through evaluations allows leaders to test new ideas, invest in the most effective programs, and maximize results for residents. Through this track, cities will create a citywide evaluation strategy to routinely perform evaluations that answer the most pressing questions and inform better policy decisions. Expert advisors will help cities upskill an evaluation team to conduct evaluations that generate meaningful evidence and support high-profile mayoral efforts, showing the public and city staff how evaluation can lead to learning, course correction, and stronger results.

    Procurement Excellence

    As much as cities depend on their procurement system to effectively and equitably deliver key services, procurement too often serves as a back-office compliance function rather than a potential lever for powerful change. In this track, cities will learn to transform citywide procurement by adopting a strategic, results-driven approach that saves time for city staff, encourages new and diverse vendors, and achieves better outcomes for contracted services.

    Data as a Service

    Data as a Service is an approach to governments stewarding and providing sustainable and equitable access to data that supports decision makers and innovators inside and outside the public sector. This track will teach city leaders how to move beyond a strategy focused on open data portals to a strategy focused on channeling data to solve problems. It will develop your city’s data practices, policies, and people to enable a consistent way of designing and running high quality, end-to-end data services at scale that serve city teams and the public.

    Who Can Apply?

    The application period for the next group of cities will open in late 2023.

    Cities from across North, Central, and South America are welcome to apply. Cities best suited for this program will meet the following qualifications:

    • Mid-sized to large city (i.e., approximately >100,000 residents in the U.S. and Canada; or approximately >300,000 residents in Latin America);
    • Bold mayoral ambition for how data can drive better results for residents;
    • A mayor with at least 2 years left in office, with additional years possible through re-election (must have 3 years left if not eligible for reelection);
    • Strong foundations of data use already in place across city hall and agencies; and 
    • It is a requirement of the program that the mayors of all accepted cities participate in an in-person convening in Baltimore, MD. No surrogates will be accepted. 


    We recommend that you include team members who plan to participate in the program in the application process.


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