Tuesday Salt Lake County announced a new partnership with Code for America for the 2016 Code for America Fellowship Program. Fellows and government partners will explore answers to local challenges by engaging with the community, building applications, and testing the results.
“Salt Lake County is struggling with having to re-arrest people for not showing up to a court appearance or to court-ordered treatment. That is expensive, inefficient and—most of all—doesn’t help address the reason behind the original arrest. We’re excited to work with Code for America to find the right technological tool that people can use to avoid being re-arrested. That should help ease overcrowding at the jail and help put individuals on a more constructive path,” said Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County, Utah.
The Code for America Fellowship pairs local governments with teams of mid-career, civic-minded technologists for one year. Governments and fellows selected for the 2016 Fellowship develop digital approaches to delivering public services that:
·Improve access to health and human services in the City of Kansas City, Missouri and the City of New York, New York,
·Safely reduce incarceration in Salt Lake County, Utah and the City of Seattle, Washington, and
·Promote economic development opportunities in the City of New Orleans, Louisiana and the City of Long Beach, California.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Salt Lake County in 2016. Each partner was selected for their commitment to making government services simpler, faster, and more effective for the people who use them,” said Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code for America.
Over the past five years, the Fellowship program has produced more than 65 software applications with 38 municipal governments and 126 fellows.
The applications are tangible results of a process that builds much more than a piece of technology—they are vehicles for driving cultural and structural change inside government.
“Our fellows apply an iterative, user-centered, and data-driven approach to their work. By focusing on the user experience of applying for and using services, our fellows help to debug government operations, and develop a new set of digital practices that help them work better in the 21st century,” Luke Norris, Senior Director of Government Relations, said. “The Fellowship shifts the way governments think about and use technology to deliver public services.”
Code for America partnered with six local governments for the 2016 Code for America Fellowship Program. Governments are: Kansas City, Missouri; Long Beach, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City, New York; Salt Lake County, Utah; and Seattle, Washington.
This year, five of the six governments are alums of the Fellowship program—a testament to the impact of the Fellowship program and the governments’ commitment to delivering services in ways that are simple, beautiful, and easy to use for everyone.