Bend, OR

United States


Sally Russell


91,385 (2019)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Stephanie Betteridge

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve internal government operations

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Bend, OR

Bend plans to use innovation to overcome resource constraints and attract top employees. Bend’s first Innovation Strategic Plan is scheduled for adoption in 2020. Through the feedback gathered at a series of workshops, that engaged more than 150 public employees from every city department, the plan aims to build Bend’s capacity for data analytics and use human-centered design to glean behavioral insights and improve service delivery.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Bend, OR has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, Bend, OR approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that Bend, OR is focused on

Bend, OR does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Bend, OR utilizes 3 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Program manager
Data analyst
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the City Manager’s office, Bend’s dedicated innovation team consists of 4 staff and is led by a Chief Innovation Officer (CIO). The CIO also provides leadership to other groups that approach their work through an innovation lens such as the Information Technology Office, the Office of Performance Management, and the Project Management Office.

Terms Bend, OR most associates with innovation

Human-centered design
Data analytics

Bend, OR's most common innovation activities

Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
Engaging residents in new ways
Facilitating organizational change within the municipality
e.g. silo-busting; new internal performance management; staff training and capacity building on innovation tools or techniques; reforms to contracting or procurement
Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Bend, OR has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
Municipal budget
This could include, for instance, City Council approved funds; operating budget; a special funding process (bond, Mayoral special initiative funding, etc.); and participatory budgeting / citizen-selected budgeting.

Activities being funded

Investing in digital systems
47 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
79 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
51 cities
Investing in digital systems
36 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
30 cities
Paying for services

Similar to 61% of participating cities in the 2020 survey, Bend's funding for innovation capacity is also directed towards training staff and building capacity*.

*"Training staff and building capacity" is not an option in the 2018 survey, while "Launching or sustaining a project" is not an option in the 2020 survey.

How is innovation measured?

Bend has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with city residents and resident associations.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data



Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement

Waste and sewage

Digital governance

Public works

Government finance

Land use

Built environment

Insufficient data


Environment and climate change

Labour market and skills



Social inclusion and equity

Social welfare/social services


No Response