Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Making Municipal Governments More Responsive to their Citizens

Our program to make municipal governments more responsive to their citizens, now ended, had two components. First, we sought to make citizen-informed and citizen-based government performance measurement and reporting widespread, normal and expected. Second, we sought to accelerate the spread of telephone-based or Web-based technologies that enable citizens to make and track direct service requests to their local governments.  Grantmaking in this program has concluded.  Though work continues on grants made in previous years, no new grants will be made in 2010 or subsequently.  Letters of inquiry for grants through this program are no longer accepted.

Performance measurement and reporting are citizen-informed under the following conditions:

  • when the government involves the public in developing measures that citizens care about;
  • when the government involves the public in deciding how performance will be reported; and
  • when the government obtains and takes seriously feedback from the public on performance reports.

Performance measurement and reporting are citizen-based when done from outside the government, normally by a non-government organization, preferably with the cooperation of the government.