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The City of Portland, Oregon

City Budget Office

What Works Cities

  • Grocery Store Poster

  • Workshop with the Behavioral Insights Team

  • Presenting to Council

  • Our progress

Portland became part of the What Works Cities (WWC) initiative in 2016, joining cities across the country to strengthen the use of data and evidence to improve results for the communities we serve. 

What we’ve accomplished so far

Staff from bureaus and offices around the City have worked with expert consultants, provided by What Works Cities, to initiate or improve efforts in open data, performance management, behavioral insights and low-cost evaluation, and results-based contracting. Here are a few examples of completed projects:

Open Data Policy: With support from Sunlight Foundation and GovEx, Portland finalized its proposed Open Data Policy and Open Data Program, which passed City Council in 2017. Learn more.

Performance Management: With support from GovEx, Portland expanded its existing performance management management framework by bringing more evidence into decision-making.

Behavioral Insights and Testing Impact: With support from the Behavioral Insights Team, Portland completed over 10 projects with 6 different bureaus ranging from encouraging bike share use to increasing code compliance and tax payment. Each effort was evaluated using randomized controlled trials. Learn more.

Results Based Contracting: With support from Harvard's Government Performance Lab, the Procurement Division and the Bureau of Technology Services worked together to streamline the City's approach to technology procurements. 

Data Governance:  As part of the American Cities Climate ChallengeGovEx helped the Portland Bureau of Transportation launch its bureau-wide data governance committee, paving the way for establishing a similar oversight body Citywide. 

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