South Bend

United States

Mayor

Pete Buttigieg

Population

102,245 (2017)

Lead Innovation Officer

Santiago Garces

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve service delivery

  • Improve resident outcomes

  • Improve internal government operations

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in South Bend

South Bend has developed a comprehensive approach to problem solving through its SBStat program. Each quarter a department chooses one high priority topic to workshop with the innovation team. The innovation team reviews both soft and hard data to deeply understand the problem and build recommendations. The innovation team also brings the central administration into the process such as the legal, human resources, and IT departments as these departments often play a role in supporting the program.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 44% of cities surveyed, South Bend has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 40% of cities surveyed, South Bend approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that South Bend is focused on

Economic Development
Digital governance
Policy areas by number of cities

South Bend utilizes 7 different innovation skills or roles

Community engagement staff
Data scientist
Designer
Engineer
Project manager
Sociologist
Communication or marketing staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

South Bend has a dedicated office for innovation with 17 staff. Until 3 years ago, innovation capacity was based in the Mayor’s office and consisted of a much smaller team.

Terms South Bend most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Human-centered design

South Bend's most common innovation activities

Engaging residents in new ways
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
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
Rethinking approaches to financing and partnerships
e.g. new public-private-partnerships; collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
  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 77% of cities surveyed, South Bend 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.
External funding
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.
Non-financial resources
Non-financial resources
This could include staff on loan and/or other in-kind contributions (e.g. materials, infrastructure…)

Activities being funded

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
55 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
53 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
3 cities
Investing in digital systems
2 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
2 cities
Paying for services

South bend also invests in digital services and physical infrastructure, and pays for services from a third party.

How is innovation measured?

South Bend has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity internally within the city’s administration, other levels of government, public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organisations, and city residents/resident associations.

The city has also fostered partnerships with academia/think tanks, philanthropy, and other cities.

Data availability by policy area

5
4
6

Sufficient data

Transport/Mobility

Economic Development

Policing and law enforcement

Waste and sewage

Digital governance

Insufficient data

Health

Labour market and skills

Culture

Social inclusion and equity

No Response

Housing and built environment

Water

Environment and climate change

Education

Public works

Tourism