In an era where digital innovation impacts every aspect of our lives, government service delivery is at a critical juncture.

As director of the Beake Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, he aims to improve people's lives by helping governments respond to their needs, and previously served as president of both Obama and Biden. As a member of the administration and local government, I have seen firsthand how it operates in this manner. Digital service delivery significantly increases government efficiency and effectiveness for its citizens. This kind of transformation isn't just about adopting new technology, it's also about reimagining government to make it work easier and more effectively for everyone.

State and local governments are uniquely positioned to improve service delivery. Our proximity to the communities we serve allows us to understand the pressing needs and challenges of our residents. Unlike the federal government, which is somewhat detached from the realities on the ground, local governments can quickly adapt and innovate according to the needs of their communities. This agility is critical in a world where technology and society's needs are constantly evolving.

During the Obama administration, I worked closely with state and local leaders to develop data-driven justice initiatives. It helped communities leverage data to provide more effective and tailored services to people suffering from mental health crises and drug overdoses. This effort was a close collaboration across federal, state, and local governments, taking full advantage of a variety of policies, funding, and delivery tools at all levels. Federal agencies provided guidance on permissible uses of funds, data sharing, and privacy protections. The governor and the state Legislature combined block grants for mental health services, housing assistance, and other social services to support more comprehensive and coordinated care at the local level. Counties and local governments are best equipped with data, tools, and resources to break cycles of incarceration and unnecessary hospitalization, connect highly vulnerable populations with effective services, reduce recidivism, and increase cost savings. Supported frontline responders.

During my time in the Biden White House, I leveraged the federal government's digital distribution capabilities to help federal agencies address the infant formula crisis as parents across the country faced empty shelves. I was blessed with the opportunity to help. Working closely with our talented team at U.S. Digital Services and federal agencies, we partner with leading retailers to obtain real-time infant formula inventory data to provide a complete picture of the actual availability of infant formula in communities across the country. I made it clear. The USDS team also conducted user research interviews with parents. This study found clear challenges faced by parents in rural areas, families who require special formula for infants with medical needs, and families who rely on the Women, Infants and Children Program to purchase formula. Ta. Data and human-centered research helped the White House and agency leaders narrow their response to better address this diverse need.

What these efforts have in common is that when governments at all levels—federal, state, and local—use human-centered design, data, digital tools, and collaborative action to understand and respond to difficult problems, citizens can This means that results can be significantly improved. serve.

Universities, nonprofit organizations, and other external partners can provide critical support to help government partners improve their digital delivery capabilities. At the Beek Center, a digital service network provides governments with human-centered strategies to deliver services that meet people's real needs. DSN also connects people across the business so they can learn from each other, access resources in the DSN Library, and learn about digital innovation across government. Recently, we launched a state-level policy scan to support a deeper understanding of policy tools impacting digital transformation at the state and local level. PolicyScan dashboards and data visualizations provide accessible examples for governments to drive effective and equitable digital transformation at the state level.

Similarly, in 2021, we built data sharing and distribution capabilities across state government with the Beek Center's Data Labs project. Data Labs partners with the National Governors Association to bring together state data and policy leaders to strengthen public services in programs like Medicaid and SNAP. , accelerate workforce transition and improve student outcomes. This project takes a human-centered design approach to drive change. Over the past three years, Data Labs has worked with her 157 public servants from 88 state government agencies. In Colorado, his $250 million was invested in housing and homelessness grant programs through three new laws and first-time funding allocated for data infrastructure and analytics.

Now, more than ever, state and local governments are uniquely positioned to spearhead digital transformation. By embracing digital tools and working with our federal partners, we can make changes that significantly improve the lives of people in our communities. External partners like the Beeck Center are ready to help local state governments not only keep pace with the digital age, but also lead in innovation and efficiency.

Lynn Overman

Written by Lynn Oberman

Lynn Overmann is executive director of Georgetown University's Beek Center for Social Impact + Innovation.

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