Baltimore Recognized as Innovative Leader Among Cities Implementing ARPA Funds

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Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
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Results for America and Mathematica, Bloomberg Philanthropies recognize Baltimore’s Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs for Use of Data and Evidence-Based Practices in the Implementation of ARPA Funds

BALTIMORE, MD. (Monday, July 24, 2023) - Results for America and Mathematica released an updated dashboard examining how state and local government leaders use data and evidence to invest their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for better results.

The Results for America dashboard provides a snapshot of funding priorities, as well as how state and local policymakers are implementing five U.S. Treasury data and evidence practices that serve as criteria for how governments should invest ARPA dollars to maximize the impact of their investments by advancing economic recovery and mobility, and racial equity. The dashboard is based on an analysis of 200 Recovery Plan Performance Reports from 50 states, 83 counties, and 67 cities across the country. Baltimore City's Recovery Plan scored high in 4 of these 5 criteria:

  • BUILD DATA & EVIDENCE CAPACITY: Authorizes local, state, and tribal governments to use their ARPA funds to build and strengthen their data- and evidence-capacity.
  • USE DATA AND EVIDENCE: Encourages local, state, and tribal governments to invest their ARPA funds in evidence-based solutions backed by strong, moderate, or preliminary evidence.
  • INVEST IN EVALUATION: Requires local, state, and tribal governments to identify if projects are being evaluated through rigorous program evaluation that are designed to build evidence.
  • ENGAGE COMMUNITIES: Encourages local, state, and tribal governments to seek and incorporate diverse community feedback from constituents, community-based organizations, and the communities themselves in planning efforts.
  • ENSURE EQUITABLE OUTCOMES: Directs local, state, and tribal governments to develop and pursue equitable outcomes that prioritize economic and racial equity.

In addition to the high score for the Recovery Plan, Results for America recognized two Baltimore City projects among 110 notable projects across the country that can serve as models for other government leaders. These projects demonstrate best practices for state and local governments in:

The innovative programs in Baltimore highlighted by Results for America are:

  • ARPA Project and Progress Evaluation (Investing in Evaluation and Enhancing Data and Evidence Capacity): The Baltimore Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs will partner with the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University to support program evaluation, research, and evidence-based decision-making about programs and services created or expanded using ARPA funds. The University partners will provide the Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs with implementation advice and impact evaluation, best practices research, administrative data analysis, and performance management; and
  • Baltimore Young Families Success Fund (BYFSF) (Investing in Evaluation): Baltimore City launched a two-year guaranteed income pilot program-Increasing Economic Security through Guaranteed Income-designed to enhance economic security for low-income residents and families, particularly those impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The BYFSF program was funded with built-in evaluation by a collaborative effort of independent organizations-Abt Associates, Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR), and Johns Hopkins University-to assess its impact and effectiveness on participants.

Baltimore City is also one of 57 American cities with a Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Certification demonstrating higher investments in critical data and evidence provisions than other cities reviewed. Achieving a level of silver on the assessment, What Works Cities rated Baltimore as good at understanding data, tracking progress, and using data and evidence to make decisions. A focus on communications, high-performing government, and tackling housing challenges, particularly by launching an ARPA reporting public data portal, helped set Baltimore apart from other jurisdictions. Baltimore achieved silver certification in 2021, and continues to be certified at that level. Cities that achieve between 51% and 66% of the certification criteria are recognized at the silver level.

The Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs 2023 Annual Performance Report will be released on July 31, 2023. To learn more about the Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs, visit

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