City launches new performance dashboard
Residents can now track local progress on issues, including homelessness and affordable housing
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Feb 19, 2019
Honolulu – Today, the city launched Honolulu Dashboard, a quick and easy way to review progress on key city services and issues. A beta test version of the dashboard has been online since December, providing the opportunity for city staff to offer input and feedback.
Honolulu Dashboard can be accessed from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s homepage at http://www.honolulu.gov/mayor or directly at http://www.honolulu.gov/dashboard.
“Since the beginning of my administration we have been committed to transparency, community engagement, and clear priorities,” said Mayor Caldwell. “With the publication of Honolulu Dashboard, residents now have an easy way to track our progress in key priority areas. We take accountability seriously, and the dashboard helps to ensure that we track our progress and reach our goals.”
Honolulu Dashboard is the result of the city’s collaboration with What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative that helps cities use data and evidence to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. In January 2018, Mayor Caldwell announced Honolulu’s selection as one of the initial 100 cities to receive technical assistance from the initiative’s expert partners.
“Cities across the country are achieving better outcomes for their residents by using data to set goals and track progress toward achieving them,” said Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities. “With its new dashboard, Honolulu has committed to increasing transparency and resident engagement by sharing its data-driven progress with the community.”
Honolulu worked with What Works Cities partner the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University to improve practices in data governance. The initial effort focused on creating dashboards to report key performance indicators around homelessness and housing, and was expanded to include road and park improvements. Of the 13 dashboards now published, all but one include explicit targets or goals that the city is measuring progress against. These are inaugural targets for some service and issue areas, demonstrating the city’s increasing capacity and commitment to use data to track performance and deepen accountability.
“From the outset of our work together, it has been clear that Honolulu has a strong commitment to opening data to the public," said Moses Pounds, GovEx Senior Advisor. “This dashboard is the product of staff from multiple departments working together to line up resources and turn plans into reality. It serves as a powerful tool for residents of the City and County of Honolulu to understand more about what their government is doing for them, and to open lines of communication.”
The city’s Department of Information Technology developed the dashboard in-house, saving taxpayer funds and providing maximum flexibility in program design and execution. While the front face of Honolulu Dashboard has a common feel and interface, the detail section of each individual dashboard is designed for flexibility to enable the use of graphs, pictures, hyperlinks, and imbedded programs, such as “story maps” and GIS data. The menu at the top of the page enables quick and easy navigation to the viewer’s area of interest, and allows for easy expansion of subject areas.
The launch of these dashboards is just the beginning. Over the next year, Honolulu intends to add more dashboards, driven primarily by community interest and the availability of accurate data. In addition, website analytics will assist the team in evaluating the utility of the dashboard, helping to drive further refinements.
About What Works Cities:
What Work Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative, helps cities use data and evidence to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. The initiative’s What Works Cities Certification program is the first-of-its-kind national standard of excellence in city governance that evaluates how well cities are managed and whether cities have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision-making. Through the initiative’s expert partners, cities around the country are receiving support, guidance and resources to succeed. For more information, visit whatworkscities.org.