The Hometown Summit is showcasing a number of fairly new initiatives focused on helping city leaders improve their approach to community engagement, especially through technology and an embrace of open data. A few stand out to me thus far, please let me know if you find them useful in your hometown:
Center for Government Excellence, which is based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore but works with cities elsewhere, has developed a number of practical guides on topics from civic open data to managing organizational culture: https://govex.jhu.edu/resource-type/guide/
What Works Cities, an initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is working with over 70 cities to identify and share solutions. They recently launched a certification program to help cities improve their use of data and evidence and be recognized for those improvements.
The Davenport Institute has a web-based self-evalution tool to evaluate your community’s public engagement processes and policies.
The Sunlight Foundation recently released a guide to open data for city leaders. The Foundation is actively seeking feedback on the guide, which they’re currently calling a beta test.