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Chatham County Blueprint

(Carl V. Lewis) #1

Thanks to @NHelmholdt for passing this along!

blueprint.pdf (1.8 MB)

Meeting Minutes: Nick Helmholdt of Metro Planning Commission
(Larry Rix) #2

I read a lot of this document and then went over to the CGIC site to read more. There was a statement on the CGIC site that an identified problem was:

“Despite the intense efforts of CGIC, the group ran into a very common planning problem in 2013 – lack of public participation.”

I am wondering if we can help make a difference here. Can technology (e.g. phone app, etc.) play a role in reaching people in a way that they are both aware and emotionally energized (rewarded) to participate and respond? Perhaps something anonymous.If the phones are being supplied through some program (welfare, etc), then perhaps the phones can be preloaded?

For example: If someone is job hunting, then a phone app to help the city and county understand where they are blocked, need help, and ensure they are looking, and so on? Also with social services as a means of communicating immediate needs, portal for compliance, and other matters?

(Carl V. Lewis) #3

@Larry_Rix We’ve actually been working quite closely with Tara Jennings, CGIC’s director, on SavBook’s upcoming soft launch. Your point regarding the value of mobile is well-taken, which is why SavBook is a hybrid mobile web app instead of a responsive website. As to the power of using mobile phones as an input device, whiile this technically can be done easily now via Google Sheets the way the app is set up, your suggestion does raise an important consideration: How can we lower the barrier to entry for contributing to SavBook more than we already have? I think a simple start could just be a simple webform that includes all the fields for SavBook, then use something like Zapier or IFTT to automate the form intake to be added as a new row in the Google Workbook that acts as SavBook’s API.

As for lowering the barrier to the end user, one consideration might be putting a native wrapper around the app so that it can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play and run as a native app. Although there would be little technical benefit of this, it’s been widely shown in studies that native apps have more ‘stickiness’ than mobile web apps.

As to your discussion of implementing proactive technologies to aim with social service needs, such as a bot that helps with the job search, that has all kinds of interesting facets. Check out Client Comm and GetCalFresh –– two excellent examples of brigade projects social service data and applying an action-oriented approach that adds tremendously more value. But I guess the best place for us to start brainstorming is first by identifying a local need.

(Carl V. Lewis) #4

This paper outlines the issue we’re attempting to solve with SavBook in an academic context. Also, see http://openeligibility.org and http://openreferral.org for projects that seek to standardize this sort of data collectiion and schema. https://www.academia.edu/16449530/An_Open_Data_Approach_to_the_Human_Service_Directory_Problem