Town of Bloomington is working with Google.org to enhance entry to authorities providers

Bloomington, Indiana –Mayor John Hamilton announced today that the City of Bloomington will receive pro bono support from the Google.org Fellows team to deploy CiviForm, a tool to simplify and centralize online applications for help programs. CiviForm is an open source tool originally developed by the City of Seattle with support from Google.org to make it easier and faster to apply for government programs.

A team of 12 Google employees will work full-time with the City of Bloomington for six months as part of the Google.org Fellowship, which will provide pro bono technical expertise to nonprofits and civic entities. Bloomington Information and Technology Services (ITS) will lead this initiative in partnership with Parks & Recreation.

The CiviForm pilot program will focus on improving application processes for community service programs, such as the Parks Foundation Youth Scholarship Program and the ITS redundancy application process. After the Fellowship, City employees can continue to use CiviForm to improve online access to other city services.

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“This partnership can help our people gain access to and apply for urban programs. It can help city departments to screen applicants fairly and rigorously. It’s mutually beneficial, Mayor Hamilton said, “and good local democracy in practice.”

“Google and the city of Bloomington share a commitment to creating opportunities for everyone,” said Rob Biederman, Google’s director of external relations. “We hope we can simplify the application process for Bloomington residents by combining the best of Google’s technological expertise with the city’s knowledge of community needs. ยป

During a visit to the project coordination site last week, Google researchers conducted interviews with residents at the request of the city to better understand customer needs and experiences related to access to online programs and applications. This feedback will help the city improve its online customer experience.

PROJECT SUMMARY

The city of Bloomington sees CiviForm (originally built under a grant from Google.org with the city of Seattle) as a way to support the city’s goal of providing sustainable, resilient and equitable economic opportunities for all city residents by enabling residents to request city services.

Many Bloomington residents have limited knowledge of city programs and have to follow complicated registration steps when signing up, some of which are still offline. Google.org members will work together across city departments to deploy CiviForm, which will allow low-income residents to enter their information once so they can sign up for multiple programs securely and effectively.

Bloomington destinations with CiviForm:

  • Provide residents with an easy way to apply for city programs
  • Improve internal control and disclosure processes in the city
  • Reduce your reliance on proprietary application receiving solutions
  • Allow collection of requests from residents and intermediaries without paper forms or paper equivalents (e.g. Word or PDF fillable files)

ABOUT THE GOOGLE.ORG SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

  • Google.org is committed to providing the best of Google to nonprofits and citizens who face the toughest challenges. The Google.org Fellowship integrates Google employee teams with nonprofits or civic entities for up to six months of full-time volunteer work. Members and their host nonprofit or civic organization work together to develop solutions and work as a team to ensure that the work of Google employees has a lasting and lasting impact.
  • Fellowship is the flagship of Google.org for employee engagement and professional development.
  • Participating members have expertise in software engineering, research and design, user experience, marketing, product management, data science and more.

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