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Bloomberg Philanthropies and Results for America Announce What Works Cities Certification Will Expand and Include The United States, Canada, Central America, and South America

What Works Cities Certification releases updated criteria for cities to achieve recognition for excellence in using data to improve residents’ lives 

Rochelle Haynes named new Managing Director

New York, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies and Results for America today announced the next phase for What Works Cities Certification, the first-of-its-kind standard of excellence for data-driven, well-managed local government. What Works Cities Certification will expand to include cities in Canada, Central America, and South America while maintaining its commitment to U.S. cities. The criteria for cities to achieve Certification has also been updated to reflect increased demands that residents and other community stakeholders have made for cities to bring an equity focus to evidence-based decision making. Rochelle Haynes has been named as Managing Director and will steward the expansion of What Works Cities Certification.

“Local leaders around the world are tackling global challenges with data and evidence to make their communities stronger, safer, and more equitable,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “By expanding and raising the bar to achieve What Works Cities Certification, we’re supporting the global spread of data best practices, and growing the movement of policymakers leading with data and using it to produce better results for residents and communities.”

Results for America, the lead partner of What Works Cities Certification, named Rochelle Haynes as the new Managing Director to oversee the expansion of What Works Cities Certification. Haynes has more than fifteen years of experience leading solution-oriented programs in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors that work to end the cycle of poverty in vulnerable communities. Haynes will guide What Works Cities Certification as it continues evolving to help cities level up their data best practices, including to deliver equity-focused results for residents.

“We are thrilled to welcome an experienced, passionate, and impactful leader like Rochelle to our team,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “As we evolve our Certification standard, Rochelle’s expertise will be invaluable in expanding our program and helping city leaders use data to improve the quality of life for all of their residents.”

What Works Cities Certification is evolving in order to reflect current best practices and changing community priorities. The enhanced criteria now mandate that cities:

  1. Show expertise in data management including a strong commitment to equitable data practices from local leadership; a citywide strategy for the use of data and analytics; and clear project targets for measuring progress and communicating results to residents.
  2. Demonstrate that they are managing their data with equity in mind. This includes a range of practices that begins with incorporating a data governance equity framework. In addition, cities will collect, use and share disaggregated data to avoid algorithmic bias and ensure equitable service delivery, and employ strategies to diversify the pool of vendors doing business with the city.
  3. Show that they are making real progress in policy areas that affect resident wellbeing, such as air quality, accessible services, or other areas that are priorities for the city and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We know that the end goal for cities is not just to be data-driven, but to meet the needs of their residents, improve their quality of life, and achieve population-level outcomes,” said Rochelle Haynes, the newly appointed Managing Director of What Works Cities Certification. “The changes we are making to the Certification program will provide cities with a standard of excellence that clearly articulates how investing in foundational data and evidence practices can lead to more equitable and outcomes-focused impact for government and residents.”

In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies and What Works Cities established a certification program, led by Results for America, to provide a standard by which to assess a city’s capacity to use data for effective decision making — and to recognize the cities who excelled in doing so. To date, 55 U.S. cities have been awarded What Works Cities Certification honoring their achievements in data-informed decision-making.

To learn more about What Works Cities or to take the assessment, go to

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and LinkedIn.

About Results for America:
Results for America is helping decision-makers at all levels of government harness evidence and data to make progress on our greatest challenges. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results. For more information, visit

About What Works Cities Certification:
The What Works Cities Certification program, launched in 2017 by Bloomberg Philanthropies and led by Results for America, is the first-of-its-kind standard of excellence for data-driven, well-managed local government. What Works Cities Certification recognizes and celebrates local governments for their exceptional use of data to inform policy decisions, allocate funding, improve services, evaluate the effectiveness of programs, and engage residents.

Media Contacts:
Bloomberg Philanthropies: Courtney Greenwald,
Results for America: Ross Schwartz, 718-644-7424,