United States


Stephen T. Williams


47,079 (2017)

Lead Innovation Officer

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve resident outcomes

  • Improve service delivery

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated funding

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Human resource support

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Huntington

As part of its battle with the opioid epidemic, Huntington’s Compass wellness program aims to prevent “compassion fatigue” among first responders who have been on the frontline against this pervasive and devastating challenge. The city’s Drug Market Intervention program seeks to attack the epidemic at its roots while avoiding overly punitive measures by focusing on key locations and actors in the opioid trade, differentiating between violent and non-violent offenders, and connecting addicts suffering to community resources. Partnerships play a major role in these programs, which leverage donations from the private sector and data analysis from nearby Marshall University.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Huntington does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Huntington approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

Policy areas that Huntington is focused on

Policing and law enforcement
Policy areas by number of cities

Innovation skills or roles

Huntington does not have a dedicated team for innovation. The city plans to hire its first staff member dedicated to innovation in the next budget year.

Innovation roles by number of cities

Terms Huntington most associates with innovation

Bold leadership
Big picture re-thinking

Huntington's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
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, Huntington 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

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

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

*"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?

Huntington has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with private firms and industry.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with academia and think tanks to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data

Policing and law enforcement

Waste and sewage

Public works

Land use

Insufficient data

Economic Development


Environment and climate change


Digital governance


Built environment





Social inclusion and equity

Social welfare/social services

Labour market and skills

Government finance