By Nadine Clopton, a rising junior at Lehigh University and summer intern for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health team
The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Data for Health Initiative has been partnering with governments in 20 low- and middle income countries (LMICs) to support strengthening their health data and data use since 2015. Co-funded by the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Data for Health is delineated into three complimentary arms: the Data Impact arm focuses on using data to support public health decision making, the Noncommunicable Disease Survey arm supports household and mobile phone surveys in collecting NCD risk factor data, and the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics arm works to strengthen birth and death data. The work is country led through relevant Ministries and Country Coordinators. Oftentimes, it is hard to conceptualize the personal impact that a program of this magnitude has.
City governments constantly struggle to address complex challenges with limited budgets – and as cities grow, mayors are feeling increasing pressure to find new ways to meet public needs. Many are finding answers in public-private collaboration.
These partnerships can help cities increase funding, rethink the delivery of services, enhance public amenities, and pilot new programs. While every city has different needs and resources, there are some key steps every mayor can take to effectively cultivate private support and deliver results.
The eleventh episode of Follow the Data features the winner of the 2013 Mayors Challenge: Providence, Rhode Island. A component of Mike Bloomberg’s recently announced American Cities Initiative, and now in its fourth round, the Mayors Challenge empowers city leaders to think big, be bold, and uncover inventive ideas that have the power to spread.
As Michael Bloomberg says: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it and you can’t fix it.” Cites are leaders in the transition to sustainable economies but first they need to know where they stand. The first step for cities to get on the sustainability ladder is to measure and report.
To help with this challenge, on August 8th-9th Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted the “Empowering cities with data” workshop in collaboration with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, CDP, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. The two-day meeting was held in the City of San Francisco, in a region known as the global epicenter of tech innovation. Under San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the city has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% from 1990 levels, while its GDP has grown by 78% and its population by almost 20%.
By Stacey Gillett, Bloomberg Philanthropies Government Innovation Team
Last month, 40 mayors from around the world came together for a first-of-its-kind leadership program, the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. A collaboration among Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Kennedy School, the initiative is designed to connect mayors and senior city leaders with the latest information, best practices, and networks as they seek to make life better for residents.
If there’s one good thing to come out of the Greek financial crisis, it’s that the turmoil provoked many people throughout the country to pitch in—both to put Greece back on track and to provide each other critical services when the government was cutting back. Documentary filmmaker Amalia Zepou was one of those citizen volunteers, helping clean vacant lots in her Athens neighborhood, teaching neighbors how to recycle, and tending to a community garden. The experience opened Zepou’s eyes to the vastness of this volunteer movement—“It was a phenomenon,” she said—and to the fact that there was nothing connecting these new groups of volunteers to each other or to the city.
As a former community organizer, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock knows the importance of outreach and listening to different voices. It’s a principle that Hancock has committed to as the architect of Peak Academy, a city-focused program that trains employees to eliminate waste and improve the way government works rather than relying on outside consultants and experts.
By James Anderson, Bloomberg Philanthropies Government Innovation Team
2,000 hours of skills-building workshops, delivered to more than 3,000 municipal leaders in 300 cities across 45 states. All in eight short summer weeks.
Welcome to the first phase of the 2017 Mayors Challenge, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ flagship effort to encourage cities to generate bold responses to the urgent challenges they face.
Starting this week, Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of innovation experts are crisscrossing the country to work with city leaders and their teams. The plan? Provide guidance on developing a bold idea for the Mayors Challenge, while also giving municipal officials cutting-edge tools to identify and tackle daunting challenges – so they can invest in innovation long after the Mayors Challenge ends.
Thirty CollegePoint students from the high school Class of 2017 were selected to receive scholarships based on their stellar academic achievement and completion of key CollegePoint milestones. The scholarship, supported by the Thompson Family Foundation and Bloomberg LP employees, is a last-dollar award designed to cover unmet costs for students at their institution of choice. These students, who represent fourteen states, will be enrolling in 25 of the top college and universities nationwide this fall.
By Tenley E. Albright, MD and Bloomberg Philanthropies Board Member
I really like something Michael Bloomberg says about mayors—that they do almost everything governors and presidents do, except sign treaties. It’s a point I kept returning to this week as I attended the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a first-of-its-kind executive training program for 40 mayors from around the world. That’s because everything I experienced throughout the program—during lectures, group discussions, and one-on-one conversations with participants—reminded me that mayors are agents of action. And, as our cities face increasingly urgent programs, it’s our mayors who will lead us to the most promising solutions.