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Demographic changes, climate change, and the advent of new technologies are dramatically changing our cities and the way we live, demanding that civic leaders adapt and operate in radically new ways.
In 2018, the OECD and Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered to better understand how city governments are investing in innovation, and to what extent these investments are improving outcomes and well-being for residents.
In Phase 1, we wanted to understand how and why city governments are developing innovation capacity. In Phase 2, we explored whether innovation and data use capacity generate better well-being outcomes for residents.
Our research is based on a survey of more than 140 cities in OECD and non-OECD countries. The city information reflects data gathered from the city administration at the time of the survey in 2018 and 2020.
* note: data from the cities was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
City Satisfactionpeople satisfied or very satisfied
86 %High psi
82 %Low psi
Life Satisfactionpeople satisfied or very satisfied
81 %High psi
79 %Low psi
Innovation staffpeople satisfied or very satisfied
No dedicated innovation staffpeople satisfied or very satisfied
Stakeholder engagementpeople satisfied or very satisfied
82 %Highest level practice
78 %Lowest level practice
Open datapeople satisfied or very satisfied
86 %Highest level practice
80 %Lowest level practice
Top innovation skill sets cities are hiring into city hall
Innovation requires a diverse set of skills. 92% of cities have project managers within their innovation teams, while more than 60% of cities have data scientists, community engagement and communication staff.
Top policy areas cities are using innovation to tackle
Cities are applying innovation to a wide range of areas—from improving transport and mobility to enhancing the labor market.
Policy areas by number of cities
Areas of city administration innovation helps
Top areas innovation is helpful in city administrations
Surveyed cities consider innovation most helpful in improving internal efficiency and service delivery.
Factors that, when missing, impede innovation in cities
Factors such as culture, funding, data, and human resources all affect how diffused and successful innovation can be within city government. More than 60% of cities reported that a lack of culture was preventing their municipality from enhancing its capacity.
Data challenges experienced by cities
Top challenges cities face with data use for innovation
More than half of cities reported that lack of compatible data across policy areas was very challenging. For the majority of cities, another challenge was the lack of reliable data. Nearly 60% of cities reported public distrust of government data was not a challenge for their innovation work.
The future of innovation work in cities
Most cities are committed to increase or maintain their innovation budget. 2/3s of cities plan to increase their innovation budget. 63% of cities report they dedicate resources to data for decision-making currently, and 85% of cities plan future budget spending in this area. Currently 50% of cities invest in outcome evaluation, however, 70% of cities plan to invest in outcome evaluation in the future.
Areas of current vs. planned innovation spending in cities
Cities' innovation budget plans over the next 2-3 years