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Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada

The City of Thunder Bay participates in benchmarking initiatives such as the Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada, which brings municipalities together to share detailed information on best practices to reduce the cost and improve the quality of local of services. Visit the Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada website (MBNCanada) for more information and reports.

MBNCanada provides a useful management tool integrating financial and performance data to assist in decision making within municipalities. MBNCanada does this by identifying and developing:

  • a common framework for assessing municipal performance
  • standard measures and definitions
  • standard protocols for collecting and reporting data
  • a shared understanding about the factors that influence each municipality’s results
  • peer review of data and processes 

 

What is MBNCanada?

Measure and report
Partner municipalities identify and collect consistent and comparable data on their municipal service areas, report the findings annually and analyze those results to see how they measure up. But data is only the start.

Share ideas
Partners use the network to discuss results and share their practices and strategies. It often starts with a question—Why did we get these results? How can we improve? What does your program look like?—and ends with collaboration on creative solutions to improve performance.

Use the data
Partners have used data to support Council decisions, set policy, inform reviews, evaluate programs, support budget recommendations, identify trends, and develop data dashboards. Some municipalities make their data accessible to everyone through open data policies and programs.

Who we are
MBNCanada’s Board consists of the CAO or City Manager from each partner municipality. Municipal Leads, Expert Panel members and Financial Advisory Panel members are staff from partner municipalities who provide leadership, determine measures, and offer expertise on service areas. The program office oversees the program infrastructure and coordinates all program activities.

What we measure
MBNCanada’s benchmarking framework includes four types of measures: community impact, service level, efficiency and customer service. The first two evaluate “what we do”—basically Council’s decisions. The second two evaluate “how well we do it”—in essence, staff’s delivery of the service. There are a total of 750 measures. Most of the 37 service areas have between 8 and 15 measures each.

Why we measure
Partners tell us that participating in MBNCanada helps them understand what’s happening now, predict what’s around the corner, strengthen accountability, improve transparency, objectively evaluate service efficiency and effectiveness, provide credible fact-based data to support informed decision-making by Council and staff, and see how they compare to other communities.

6 Provinces
16 Municipalities
37 Service Areas
670 Measures