How Innovative Government Agencies Use Data to Better Serve Their Communities

May 8, 2019
by Donna Coco
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How Innovative Government Agencies Use Data to Better Serve Their Communities

FUSE Corps, a NationSwell Council partner, places executive level FUSE fellows in city and county governments; fellows contribute their unique expertise and innovative ideas to local teams tackling big civic challenges.

FUSE is working on more than 50 projects this year across the country. The following three projects illustrate how the smart use of data can improve government operations and enhance services to better serve communities.

San Francisco identified a need to better serve those who rely on urgent and emergent services across the medical and mental health systems of care. The city is now part of the California Whole Person Care (WPC) pilot program, which allocates funds to introduce more human-centered models of care for MediCal recipients who are heavy users of health and social services but continue to have poor outcomes. FUSE executive fellow Erica Medina Stanulis is helping San Francisco’s WPC partner agencies implement this program. One WPC project is the development of a shared methodology that prioritizes patients who use multiple systems of care into scarce resources, such as supportive housing, to better serve the city’s most vulnerable residents.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) developed Management Analytics for Excellence (MAX) after the city was placed under a sweeping consent decree by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012. MAX collects traditional crime statistics alongside a wide range of internal performance metrics, including the use of force, citizen complaints against officers, and consent decree compliance. NOPD is committed to an exceptional level of transparency and allows the MAX statistics to be visible to the public in real time. FUSE executive fellow E. Aminata Brown is working with NOPD to further modernize and digitize its innovative systems and procedures; together, they are modeling how data can be best used to accelerate police reform.

Pittsburgh has completed nearly $5 billion in new construction since 2008, with another $4 billion underway or in the pipeline. However, the city lacks the workforce to complete these projects. To help bring more local and diverse talent into construction jobs, FUSE executive fellow Cynthia Shields worked with the mayor’s office to launch an unprecedented construction industry partnership. As part of this work, the city is developing a tool that can aggregate ongoing and upcoming building projects, including the estimated number of workers required. Administrators can then match these needs to labor-availability information provided by the union to identify potential gaps and work with contractors to help fill them.

To learn about the amazing work being done is cities across the country, visit FUSE Corps.

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