Wichita, KS

United States


Brandon Whipple



Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Michael Barnett

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Improve service delivery

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Wichita, KS

Wichita established an innovation fund in 2019 to support the implementation of pilot projects. The city hopes these projects will generate savings that can be reinvested into the fund, helping establish a sustainable system of innovation that can bring efficiencies to government and improved service delivery to citizens. The city has partnered with Wichita State University to define, organize, and structure its data management, while also building data expertise within the community.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

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

Policy areas that Wichita, KS is focused on

Wichita, KS does not prioritise policy sectors for its innovation work.

Policy areas by number of cities

Wichita, KS utilizes 6 different innovation skills or roles

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

Wichita’s innovation work is sprinkled throughout the municipal administration. The administration believes that every municipal staff member should be involved in enhancing the city’s innovation capacity.

Terms Wichita, KS most associates with innovation

Wichita, KS's most common innovation activities

Taking risks and testing new ideas
e.g. prototyping new programs or models to address a persistent city challenge
Developing new solutions based on digital technologies
e.g. use of drones or smart sensors
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 81% of cities surveyed, Wichita, KS 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

Paying for services
Investing in digital systems
Investing in physical infrastructure
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?

Wichita has developed partnerships to promote innovation capacity with other public agencies, private firms, not-for-profit organizations, and city residents / resident associations. To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with the private sector, private philanthropy, academia and think tanks to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development


Policing and law enforcement

Government finance

Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills


Social inclusion and equity

Public works

Digital governance



Built environment

Land use

Insufficient data

Environment and climate change


Social welfare/social services

No Response