Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report. Role of Federal Agencies


As with cities, the commitment of federal agencies affected the success of the SC2 pilot. Agency commitment, as measured by (i) the number of agency staff, (ii) amount of staff time dedicated to the pilot, (iii) the number of members embedded in the cities, (iv) the access the SC2 team and city had to senior-level agency officials, and (v) agency leadership’s support for SC2’s bottom-up approach to assisting cities were each key in addressing cities’ priorities. Also key to success was the willingness of agencies to adopt the underlying vision of SC2 as that of a bottom-up approach driven by the priorities of cities, with the federal role being one of flexible assistance to the needs of cities. Embracing this approach was sometimes difficult for regional staff who became SC2 team members because their normal duties called for them to monitor grantees for compliance and performance. Agencies that embraced this new approach tended to have SC2 team members who went above and beyond their traditional roles in assisting cities, which led to new, locally tailored solutions to long-standing problems.

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