About us

We partner with city departments using data and design to creatively solve problems.

The Innovation & Performance Approach

The City's Innovation & Performance team was created in 2017, bringing together staff into a new unit focused on improving the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of City government.  We provide free, in-kind technical support to City departments in order that they might better achieve their service goals. We use data and design to support management and operational decision-making, and seek to deliver sustainable solutions that can be used independently by departments after the conclusion of our projects.

Our Team

Tina Walha, Director

Leah Tivoli, Manager

Daniel Kirk, Advisor

Adam Petkun, Advisor

Rodrigo Sanchez, Advisor

Paige St. George, Coordinator

Amie Thao, Civic Designer

Richard Todd, Advisor

Michael Wypyszinkski, Business Intelligence Developer

Peter Barrios, Performance Intern

Recent highlights

Measuring What Matters: 12-Week Engagements

Photo of the City Performance Team

The Citywide Performance team, in collaboration with the City Budget Office have developed a data-focused performance management framework that brings together data, performance measures, outcomes and spending with the goal of improving our impact and aligning resources with desired results.   This information is intended to provide decision-makers throughout City Government access to timely and actionable information.  Partnering departments include Finance and Administrative Services, Human Services, Education and Early Learning, Transportation, Seattle City Light, and Seattle Public Utilities.  

Performance Budgeting

The Citywide Performance Team, in concert with the City Budget Office (CBO), is further aligning the City's budget, spending, and results the City would like to achieve by ensuring there are clear and measurable results for new and existing programs, initiatives, and contracted service providers. These results are now being explicitly reviewed by CBO analysts when making funding decisions. 

In addition to funding decisions, CBO is developing systems for ongoing evaluation and executive oversight of baseline programs and services.  Budget Performance Measures (see Introduction of the 2018 Budget Book) provide a systematic look at budget and spending attached to measurable results. As the City continues to modernize its technical infrastructure the Citywide Performance Team is prepared to automate and scale this effort citywide.  

Voter-approved initiatives

As part of the city's commitment to transparency around voter-approved initiatives, two new public facing websites were launched in September 2017 for the Seattle Preschool Program and the Housing Levy.  These sites contribute to a growing body of work that provides transparency to voters by describing progress toward stated goals and commitments.  Other transparency sites include the Move Seattle Dashboard, Seattle Transit Benefit District Budget Performance Measures, and the Park District budget transparency site.  Check out these sites and others on our new Performance Hub.  

Data-driven improvements

The City is on a path to glean insights from data to continually improve operations.  The Citywide Performance Team has been awarded in-kind resources from What Works Cities, the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the John and Laura Arnold Foundation and the Harvard Kennedy School's Government Performance Lab to do behavioral insights and analytics projects.  In partnership with various departments across the City, these projects build capacity across the government to use more advanced performance and data techniques such as randomized control trials, behavioral economics, data science and results-driven contracting to help improve City operations.