The Innovation Team (i-team) staffs the Office of Accountability, Performance, & Innovation (api). The Office contains three divisions:

  • The Data Division works with departments to better understand and use data to drive decision-making;

  • The Innovation Division partners with departments to develop new & creative solutions to address challenges and improve operations;

  • The Accountability Division works with departments to ensure the ongoing advancement of programs and policies.

The api also established a Performance Management Program to inform and improve operations. As part of this plan, the three divisions work with Departments to achieve specific mayoral objectives.


We act as a catalyst to overcome City challenges and institute a data-driven, creative, and responsive government.


We use analysis and design to help departments address the needs of the people of Syracuse.

What We Do


We work with departments to:

  • Better understand and use data to drive decision-making

  • Think differently and creatively to innovate around challenges

  • Ensure the ongoing advancement of programs and policies

  • Improve transparency and civic engagement with residents

Our Work


The City of Syracuse’s Office of Accountability, Performance, and Innovation was formed in 2015. The office, more commonly known as the i-­team, develops innovative solutions to Syracuse’s most pressing problems. It leverages idea generation techniques and utilizes a structured, human-centered and data-­driven approach to affect change and deliver results within the city. 

The i-team is based in city hall and reports to the Mayor, Ben Walsh. It serves as an in-house innovation consultant that focuses on different priority areas. The team works side-by-side with senior staff members and departments, however, it is outside of the typical municipal government hierarchy. This structure positions the i-team to coordinate across departments and achieve impactful results. Meet our team

The i-team was established through an Innovation Delivery grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies for up to $1.35 million. The award provides funding to establish an office and hire personnel from 2015 through December 31, 2019. The grant also provides additional funding to research best practices in other cities. Guided by the Innovation Team Playbook, i-teams focus on one issue area at a time and follow a four step process emphasizing data-driven and human centered research. They work with partners to deeply understand the problem they are trying to solve by building empathy for the people impacted by it, and then work quickly and creatively to co-create and test solutions that deliver meaningful results for residents. Learn more about Bloomberg Philanthropies' i-teams program here.



Stay connected with the team by following our blog posts, or contact us with any thoughts and ideas on how we can improve Syracuse.