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United States

Support the Municipal Data Network (US0090)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: NA

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States End-of-Term IRM Report 2015-2017, United States Mid-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Local governments have the ability to enact change and revolutionize services and efficiency by using data analytics and encouraging transparency and the economy through open data. However, municipal governments face challenges in leveraging the data economy — challenges that range from legacy systems to limited resources, capacity, and skills in data. Cities and counties across the country will join to establish a Municipal Data Network, led by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and supported by Data.gov within the General Services Administration. This network will identify methods to sustainably share and scale data successes related to open data, analytics, performance management, data culture and capacity, data infrastructure and tools, and data standards, so that local governments across the country can accelerate their efforts. In addition, this network will identify opportunities for cross-city partnerships as well as ways to join with the philanthropic and private sector and relevant Federal and state agencies to accelerate data efforts in a repeatable and scalable manner.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 38. Support the Municipal Data Network

Commitment Text:

Support the Municipal Data Network

Local governments have the ability to enact change and revolutionize services and efficiency by using data analytics and encouraging transparency and the economy through open data. However, municipal governments face challenges in leveraging the data economy — challenges that range from legacy systems to limited resources, capacity, and skills in data. Cities and counties across the country will join to establish a Municipal Data Network, led by San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and supported by Data.gov within the General Services Administration. This network will identify methods to sustainably share and scale data successes related to open data, analytics, performance management, data culture and capacity, data infrastructure and tools, and data standards, so that local governments across the country can accelerate their efforts. In addition, this network will identify opportunities for cross-city partnerships as well as ways to join with the philanthropic and private sector and relevant Federal and state agencies to accelerate data efforts in a repeatable and scalable manner.

Responsible Institution: General Services Administration

Supporting Institutions: State and local government leaders, academia, foundations, and civil society stakeholders

Start Date: Not Specified End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to establish a Municipal Data Network that would identify ways to share and scale successful data initiatives, such as those related to open data, analytics, and data standards, among others. The network itself further aimed to identify opportunities for partnerships among cities, as well as with philanthropic, private sector, and government actors.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

At the midterm, the government had made substantial progress on this commitment. The Municipal Data Network—now known as the Civic Analytics Network—was established in early 2016 as a network of municipal Chief Data Officers.[1] Members of the network held an in-person meeting in April 2016, with the network also holding monthly teleconferences.[2] By the close of the midterm reporting period, the General Services Administration was also working to link the network with similar initiatives under the umbrella of the US Data Federation (a coordinating mechanism of data.gov).[3]

End of term: Substantial

Progress on this commitment remains substantial at the end of term. Through the close of the end-of-term reporting period (June 2017), the Civic Analytics Network identified and shared a variety of scalable data success stories via blog posts on its website. One such post explores how the city of Boston leveraged data to identify parking meter prices that would reduce traffic congestion and increase parking availability.[4] Another post explores user-friendly features implemented on the city of Chicago’s revamped data portal.[5] While these posts help to share information, they nevertheless do not fulfill the commitment’s aim of clearly identifying methods of scaling the solutions they describe (i.e. facilitating their implementation in other contexts) in a sustainable manner.

On 7-8 November 2017 (several months after the close of the end-of-term reporting period), the Civic Analytics Network was expected to host the inaugural Harvard Summit on Data-Smart Government, comprised of trainings and workshops on “how to transform city services and government through the use of data,”[6] providing a potential forum for the network to identify opportunities for cross-city and cross-sector partnerships (i.e. partnerships involving civil society, philanthropic, private sector, and government actors). However, as this summit lies beyond the close of the reporting period, progress in this area remains nascent at the end of term. Moreover, while the Civic Analytics Network’s website lists a variety of key activities involving civil society and government at the time of writing—including the development of “use cases” in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy, leveraging the Harvard University Ash Center as a central advisory source for network members, and connecting the network’s members to other “data-driven government efforts” like What Works Cities and the Living Cities Accelerator—the IRM researcher was unable to identify concrete progress on these initiatives.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Marginal

This commitment marginally opened government with respect to access to information and civic participation.

Concerning access to information, the Civic Analytics Network’s success-story blog posts serve to facilitate greater access to information on data successes among Network participants, interested members of civic society, and the public at large. These posts, while noteworthy, constitute a minor improvement relative to the status quo, as numerous other organizations—such as What Works Cities, International Business Machine's (IBM’s) Smarter Cities Program, and the Citi Foundation’s joint City Accelerator initiative—are directly engaged in similar efforts. The lack of concrete efforts to identify methods to sustainably scale successes (as described above) mitigates against a more substantial opening of government in this area.

Concerning civic participation, while the government’s midterm self-assessment report makes note of the network’s attempts to engage with philanthropic organizations and the private sector in the context of Network activities, more concrete efforts had yet to materialize by the end of term, preventing a more substantial opening of government. The November 2017 Summit on Data Smart Government represents an initial concrete step in that direction.

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing, the US government had not published its fourth national action plan, so it is unclear if this commitment will be carried forward. The Civic Analytics Network should nevertheless take more concrete actions to begin developing ties with philanthropic and private sector actors to maximize the network’s potential impact on the cities it serves, while engaging in efforts to scale and implement data successes in a sustainable manner.


[1] The website for original Municipal Data Network (no longer operational) is http://www.munidatanet.org/. The Civic Analytics Network can be found at http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/civic-analytics-network. Consulted 1 July 2017. For additional details on the Civic Analytics Network’s intended scope of activities, see Data-Smart City Solutions. “About the Civic analytics Network: A Network of Leading Chief Data Officers.” Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. 4 May 2016. http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/about-the-civic-analytics-network-826 Consulted 1 July 2017 See also, Civic Analytics Network “Data-Smart City Solutions: About the Civic Analytics Network.” 4 May 2016. http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/about-the-civic-analytics-network-826. Consulted 28 June 2017.

[2] Data-Smart City Solutions. “About the Civic analytics Network: A Network of Leading Chief Data Officers.” 4 May 2016. Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governacne and Innovation. http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/about-the-civic-analytics-network-826. Consulted 1 July 2017.

[3] Open Government Partnership. “United States of America Midterm Self-Assessment Report for the Open Government Partnership: Third Open Government National Action Plan, 2015–2017.” p.39. September 2016. https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/USA_NAP3_self-assessment-report_20160916.pdf. Consulted 2 October 2017.

[4] Cmar, Wyatt. “Using Data to Find the True Price of Parking in Boston.” Civic Analytics Network. 17 May 2017. http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/using-data-to-find-the-true-price-of-parking-in-boston-1045. Consulted 22 September 2017.

[5] Thornton, Sean. “User-Friendliness Defines Chicago’s New Data Portal.” Civic Analytics Network. 20 April 2017. http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/user-friendliness-defines-chicagos-new-data-portal-1026. Consulted 22 September 2017.

[6] Civic Analytics Network. “Harvard Summit on Data-Smart Government: Overview.” http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/harvard-summit-on-data-smart-government-1118. Consulted 22 September 2017.


United States's Commitments

  1. Federal Data Strategy

    US0105, 2019, E-Government

  2. Grants Accountability

    US0106, 2019, E-Government

  3. Public Access to Federally Funded Research

    US0107, 2019, E-Government

  4. Workforce Data Standards

    US0108, 2019, E-Government

  5. Chief Data Officers

    US0109, 2019, Capacity Building

  6. Open Data for Public Health

    US0110, 2019, E-Government

  7. Enterprise Objective

    US0111, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Developing Future Action Plans

    US0112, 2019, OGP

  9. Reconstitution of the USA.gov

    US0053, 2015, E-Government

  10. Accessibility of Government Information Online

    US0054, 2015, Marginalized Communities

  11. Access to Educational Resources

    US0055, 2015, Open Data

  12. Public Listing of Every Address in the US

    US0056, 2015, Open Data

  13. Informed Decisions About Higher Education.

    US0057, 2015, Open Data

  14. New Authentication Tools to Protect Individual Privacy and Ensure That Personal Records Go Only to the Intended Recipients.

    US0058, 2015, Public Service Delivery

  15. Transparency of Open311

    US0059, 2015, E-Government

  16. Support Medicine Research Throught Opening up Relevant Data of the Field

    US0060, 2015, Health

  17. Access to Workforce Data

    US0061, 2015, Open Data

  18. Using Evidence and Concrete Data to Improve Public Service Delivery

    US0062, 2015, Capacity Building

  19. Expand Use of the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard

    US0063, 2015,

  20. Consolidation of Import and Export Systems

    US0064, 2015, E-Government

  21. Improving Government Records

    US0065, 2015, Open Data

  22. Starred commitment Ammendments to FOIA

    US0066, 2015, Open Data

  23. Streamline the Declassification Process

    US0067, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0068, 2015, Open Data

  25. Transparency of Privacy Programs and Practices

    US0069, 2015, Capacity Building

  26. Transparency of Federal Use of Investigative Technologies

    US0070, 2015, E-Government

  27. Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community

    US0071, 2015, Capacity Building

  28. Open Science Through Open Data

    US0072, 2015, Open Data

  29. Open Data Portal

    US0073, 2015, E-Government

  30. Increase Transparency of Trade Policy and Negotiations

    US0074, 2015, E-Government

  31. Develop a Machine Readable Government Organizational Chart

    US0075, 2015, E-Government

  32. Improving Public Participation

    US0076, 2015, Public Participation

  33. Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0077, 2015, Public Participation

  34. Civic Engagement in Decision-Making Processes

    US0078, 2015, Public Participation

  35. Open Mapping

    US0079, 2015, E-Government

  36. Tracking OGP Implementation

    US0080, 2015, OGP

  37. Strengthening Whistleblower Protection

    US0081, 2015, Capacity Building

  38. Transparency of Legal Entities

    US0082, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  39. Extractive Industries Transparency

    US0083, 2015, Extractive Industries

  40. Spending Transparency

    US0084, 2015, E-Government

  41. Enhance the Use of U.S. Foreign Assistance Information

    US0085, 2015, Aid

  42. Participatory Budgets and Responsive Spending

    US0086, 2015, Participation in Budget Processes

  43. Expand Access to Justice to Promote Federal Programs

    US0087, 2015, E-Government

  44. Build Safer Communities with Police Open Data

    US0088, 2015, E-Government

  45. Open Federal Data to Benefit Local Communities

    US0089, 2015, E-Government

  46. Support the Municipal Data Network

    US0090, 2015, E-Government

  47. Foster Data Ecosystems

    US0091, 2015, Capacity Building

  48. Extend Digital, Data-Driven Government to Federal Government’S Support for Communities

    US0092, 2015, Capacity Building

  49. Promote Implementation of SDGs

    US0093, 2015, Open Data

  50. Starred commitment Promote Open Climate Data

    US0094, 2015, E-Government

  51. Air Quality Data Available

    US0095, 2015, E-Government

  52. Promote Food Security and Data Sharing for Agriculture and Nutrition

    US0096, 2015, Capacity Building

  53. Promote Data Sharing About Global Preparedness for Epidemic Threats

    US0097, 2015, Capacity Building

  54. Promote Global Interconnectivity

    US0098, 2015, Aid

  55. Open Contracting

    US0099, 2015, Capacity Building

  56. Harness the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

    US0100, 2015, OGP

  57. Open Government to Support Global Sustainable Development

    US0101, 2015, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  58. Open Collaboration Onf the Arctic

    US0102, 2015, Environment and Climate

  59. Support Capacity Building for Extractives Transparency

    US0103, 2015, Capacity Building

  60. Support Responsible Investment and Business Practices for Companies

    US0104, 2015, Private Sector

  61. Improve Public Participation in Government

    US0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  62. Modernize Management of Government Records

    US0028, 2013, Records Management

  63. Modernize the Freedom of Information Act

    US0029, 2013, Capacity Building

  64. Transform the Security Classification System

    US0030, 2013, Records Management

  65. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0031, 2013, Security

  66. Increase Transparency of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Activities

    US0032, 2013, E-Government

  67. Make Privacy Compliance Information More Accessible

    US0033, 2013, E-Government

  68. Support and Improve Agency Implementation of Open Government Plans

    US0034, 2013, OGP

  69. Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protections for Government Personnel

    US0035, 2013, Capacity Building

  70. Increase Transparency of Legal Entities Formed in the United States

    US0036, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  71. Starred commitment Implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    US0037, 2013, Environment and Climate

  72. Make Fossil Fuel Subsidies More Transparent

    US0038, 2013, Extractive Industries

  73. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0039, 2013, Fiscal Transparency

  74. Increase Transparency of Foreign Assistance

    US0040, 2013, Aid

  75. Continue to Improve Performance.Gov

    US0041, 2013, E-Government

  76. Consolidate Import and Export Systems to Curb Corruption

    US0042, 2013, Private Sector

  77. Promote Public Participation in Community Spending Decisions

    US0043, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  78. Expand Visa Sanctions to Combat Corruption

    US0044, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  79. Further Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0045, 2013, Capacity Building

  80. Open Data to the Public

    US0046, 2013, E-Government

  81. Continue to Pilot Expert Networking Platforms

    US0047, 2013, Public Participation

  82. Reform Government Websites

    US0048, 2013, E-Government

  83. Promote Innovation Through Collaboration and Harness the Ingenuity of the American Public

    US0049, 2013, Capacity Building

  84. Promote Open Education to Increase Awareness and Engagement

    US0050, 2013, E-Government

  85. Deliver Government Services More Effectively Through Information Technology

    US0051, 2013, E-Government

  86. Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0052, 2013, E-Government

  87. Reform Records Management

    US0001, 2011, Records Management

  88. Lead a Multi-Agency Effort

    US0002, 2011, Capacity Building

  89. Monitor Agency Implementation of Plans

    US0003, 2011, OGP

  90. Provide Enforcement and Compliance Data Online

    US0004, 2011, Environment and Climate

  91. Advocate for Legislation Requiring Meaningful Disclosure

    US0005, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  92. Apply Lessons from Recovery Act to Increate Spending Transparency

    US0006, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  93. Government-Wide Reporting Requirements for Foreign Aid

    US0007, 2011, Aid

  94. Use Performanc.Gov to Improve Government Performance and Accountability

    US0008, 2011, Public Service Delivery

  95. Overhaul the Public Participation Interface on Regulations.Gov

    US0009, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  96. Launch Expertnet

    US0010, 2011, E-Government

  97. Launch International Space Apps Competition

    US0011, 2011, E-Government

  98. Launch “We the People”

    US0012, 2011,

  99. Open Source “We the People”

    US0013, 2011,

  100. Develop Best Practices and Metrics for Public Participation

    US0014, 2011, Capacity Building

  101. Professionalize the FOIA Administration

    US0015, 2011, Right to Information

  102. Harness the Power of Technology

    US0016, 2011, Right to Information

  103. Advocate for Legislation on Whistleblower Protection

    US0017, 2011, E-Government

  104. Explore Executive Authority to Protect Whistleblowers

    US0018, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  105. Implement the EITI

    US0019, 2011, Extractive Industries

  106. Partnership to Build on Recent Progress

    US0020, 2011, Extractive Industries

  107. Promote Data.Gov to Spur Innovation Through Open Sourcing

    US0021, 2011, Open Data

  108. Data.Gov: Foster Communities on Data.Gov

    US0022, 2011, Education

  109. Begin Online National Dialogue with the American Public

    US0023, 2011, Public Participation

  110. Update Government-Wide Policies for Websites

    US0024, 2011,

  111. Promote Smart Disclosure to Ensure Timely Release of Information

    US0025, 2011, Capacity Building

  112. Publish Guidelines on Scientific Data

    US0026, 2011, Capacity Building