Benchmarking city services: Finding the courage to improve

Benchmarking city services

This city benchmarking report examines the performance of city services around the world to uncover insights and help create real and...

The city benchmarking study examines the performance of city services around the world.

It is hard to have the courage — to change, to innovate, to improve — when you don’t have all the facts.

Around the world, our cities are undergoing massive and fundamental change. Demand for city services is changing. Expectations are increasing. And costs are coming under pressure. Cities have no choice but to become more efficient and more effective at delivering services.

The problem is that nobody really knows what ‘good’ looks like when it comes to service efficiency and effectiveness. There are no consistent global benchmarking exercises that compare across countries and service areas. There are no toolkits or guidebooks to help city leaders improve or assess their efficiency and effectiveness. There are no Big Books of Great Ideas.

City benchmarking is a tremendously difficult and time-consuming exercise. In part, this is because no two cities measure the exact same things in the exact same way (in fact, in many cases, cites aren’t measuring key indices at all). But it’s also because each city faces a very different environmental, social, political and economic reality. And that has a direct impact on their specific costs and capabilities.

Benchmarking isn’t easy. Yet we persevered. The cities that participated in this study courageously stepped up to be part of this difficult, but eye-opening exercise.

Explore the findings and insights by reading the articles and viewing the videos on this page, or downloading the full report.

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