Arkansas has launched a project with Google aimed at increasing access and utilization of state programs, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday.
The state will deploy CiviForm, an open-source tool that makes it easier for residents to apply to programs online. A team of 12 Google employees will work pro bono, full-time with the state for six months as part of a fellowship to help with the tool’s development and initial launch, the state said in a news release.
Supported programs may include government assistance, employment, education and training, and social service.
Arkansas will be the first state government to use the tool. It's an initiative of Google.org, the charitable arm of the tech giant.
Project goals include:
- Developing a common intake process for residents that will efficiently connect them with services based on identified barriers and needs
- Streamlining the application experience for residents so that they can easily apply to multiple programs through a single website
- Creating a process that will lead to improved intake, referral, and case management for residents served by multiple agencies
- Allowing community-based organizations to assist residents in the application process
The team of Google employees first met with state program administrators in June. Participating employees have expertise in software engineering, user experience research and design, marketing, product management and data science.
“Workforce development is of utmost importance for the residents of Arkansas, and I am excited to work with Google.org Fellows to make these opportunities easier to access online,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “I am grateful for this support that will bring greater awareness and a more efficient way to apply to the programs that the State of Arkansas has available.”