Smart City PDX launches Equity Consulting Advisors project

Equity Consulting Advisors will play key roles to shape Smart City PDX programs

We’re putting in place a proactive program approach that adapts to people’s needs. We want to partner with communities to identify opportunities and constraints. We want to work together on priorities and actions in the fast developing field of “smart city” technology and data collection. Through this process, we can continue to redefine what smart cities means to Portland. Smart City PDX is about building better futures for more people tomorrow with smarter advanced thinking today. 

We are seeking three Equity Consulting Advisors from Portland communities to support this approach. Advisors will work on contract in partnership with the City and other consultants. Advisors will work with each other and staff to make specific recommendations for Smart City PDX program development. 

An equity advisors consulting group is an emerging best practice in equity engagement. Expertise in equity issues can come from a combination of lived experience, leadership roles, serving in the community, and/or work history. Applicants do not need prior consulting experience. Qualifications also include connection to Portland communities harmed by racial or social disparities, including people with disabilities. These types of technical expertise will help Smart City PDX towards its goal. This goal is to advance equity and improve lives through the use of technology and improved information management.

What is the work plan?

Advisors will work together with other Equity Consulting Advisors, Smart City PDX staff, and the inter-bureau Smart Cities Steering Committee. Program recommendations will address these three driving questions:

  1. How can the needs and priorities of communities suffering inequities shape the project mix and priorities of Smart City PDX?

  2. What processes can we create to make it easy and rewarding for communities harmed by inequities to propose and take part in projects?

  3. How will we integrate communities into the design (including privacy and data protection), implementation, evaluation, and celebration of the program and its projects?

Equity Consulting Advisors will also participate as members of the Smart Cities Steering Committee. They will help to evaluate proposed projects and shape long-term partnerships. Joining this committee provides needed expertise and perspective in an understanding of racial and social inequities in Portland. 

Examples of other needed recommendations include:

  • Strategies to build awareness of Smart City PDX in communities experiencing inequities.

  • Strategies to include community voices in feedback of Smart City PDX planning and projects.

  • Evaluation framework to determine how well the project mix addresses the inequities that are of most importance to affected communities.

  • Strategies to build technological capacity and data literacy in communities experiencing inequities.

Equity Consulting Advisors will be paid $100.00 per hour for up to several hours per month during the nine-month contract. Applications are due August 15, 2019. Applications must include:

  1. A resume.

  2. A statement of interest (no longer than 500 words).

  3. A separate statement with written answers on how you meet the three minimum qualification requirements.

The Request for Qualifications (see button) has all details on qualifications, scope of work, and how to apply.

For more background on our equity narrative and development that led to this project launch, read our Smart City PDX Strategy Map Overview.