El Paso, TX

United States


Dee Margo


649,133 (2010)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Roman Sanchez

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve service delivery

Critical success factors:
  • Focus on measurement

  • Culture of innovation in city

Spotlight on innovation in El Paso, TX

Over recent years, El Paso has focused on training city employees in lean management methodology in order to produce cost savings and increase efficiency. As part of the Process Improvement Program (PIP), over five hundred employees have participated in projects and/or received training. As a result of the PIP training system, El Paso reports have resulted in significant savings on budget items and staff capacity, leading to more efficiency and freeing up new funding.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, El Paso, TX does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 20% of cities surveyed, El Paso, TX approaches innovation capacity from a holistic/macro level.

Policy areas that El Paso, TX is focused on

El Paso, TX does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

El Paso, TX utilizes 5 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Community engagement staff
Communication officer
Innovation roles by number of cities

Dedicated innovation team consists of 4 staff with an additional 45 workforce members who received innovation training to lead and participate in cross-functional team innovation projects (Lean Six Sigma and Human-Centered Design).

Terms El Paso, TX most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Human-centered design

El Paso, TX's most common innovation activities

Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
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
Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
  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, El Paso, TX 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

Idea generation & brainstorming
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

El Paso’s funding for innovation capacity is generally directed towards strategic planning, development of data metrics, process improvement program, and investing in project initiatives with the IT department. Similar to 61% of participating cities in the 2020 survey, El Paso's funding for innovation capacity is also used for 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?

El Paso has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies and city residents/resident associations. El Paso’s partnership with the University Medical Centre in joint innovation training and projects is crucial in improving key services offered to the community.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with other cities and government entities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development


Policing and law enforcement


Government finance

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills


Digital governance

Land use

Built environment

Insufficient data

Environment and climate change

Social inclusion and equity



Social welfare/social services


No Response

Public works