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Citizen Engagement Blog

Andrea Katsivelis

Recent Posts by Andrea Katsivelis:

Making Short Work of Unemployment Insurance Citizen Engagement

These are the calls that no one wants to make:

  • That first call to establish eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI).
  • The call to file an initial claim for UI benefits.
  • And all the follow-up calls to maintain eligibility, schedule required appointments with the local program office or resolve issues.

It’s bad enough to be jobless through no fault of your own. Insult is added to injury if the customer support system for the UI program requires waiting on hold for a representative, standing in a long line at the local office, or accessing a website that doesn’t provide interactive, live support.

Topics: Industry Insights Human Services

TLC from the DMV: Driving Better Citizen Engagement in Transportation

Except for teens hoping to pass their driving test, few people are thrilled to be interacting with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Or, for that matter, state and local government parking divisions.

Renewing your driver’s license or registration, changing your address, transferring title to the purchaser of your used car or paying a parking fine – these interactions have always been considered necessary evils that typically involve long waits.

Topics: Transportation

Better Citizen Engagement in Healthcare Programs

Healthcare is a touchy subject. Throw in program management complexities government healthcare participants don’t see and your program will develop chronic aches and pains at the 10-point level.

For example, the well-publicized, glitch-filled Affordable Care Act enrollment launch last year shined a spotlight on citizen frustration with government health insurance programs. The Healthcare.gov website has since been fixed, but the fallout has been slower to dissipate. State and local health programs, particularly Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the health insurance exchanges (HIX) are under greater scrutiny than ever.

Topics: Process Improvement Human Services

New Rules for Citizen Engagement in the Justice System

Do you feel that your constituents want to run the other way instead of dealing with your court and corrections system processes? And I don’t mean jumping bail or the sudden urge to “head out of town.” I’m talking about the IDEA of dealing with a complex and time-consuming process to get information or resolve an issue that affects them. No one’s lining up to be first in line like a Black Friday sale, are they? There are better ways and new rules that make “By the Book” justice system procedures and services easier to handle by your constituents and public employees.

Topics: Industry Insights Justice System

State EBT Procurement Best Practices

Navigating the procurement RFP process has always been tricky. At a recent conference, Karen Painter-Jaquess, Director of the State Systems Office in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, offered these best practices for State EBT Administrators to engage successfully with vendors and obtain optimal contracts with their SNAP and WIC procurement processes.

Topics: Industry Insights Process Improvement

Child Protective Services Needs Citizen Engagement

How bad is child neglect and abuse in the U.S.?   And how much of an impact are State Child Protective Services departments having on this critical problem? States are making progress, but better technology and citizen engagement can help. 

The Big, the Bad and the Ugly

According to UNICEF, as many as 275 million children worldwide are exposed to violence in the home, with 339,000 to 2.7 million estimated in just the U.S. alone.

Topics: Industry Insights Process Improvement

Open Government Discussion Success

Government Agencies and Technology Providers (affiliates, vendors, consultants) must work together in a cooperative manner to address the needs of constituents and governments alike.

Topics: Industry Insights Open Government

Citizen Engagement Fail: The IRS Customer Service Debacle

A USA Today article broke down customer service failures by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for the 2015 tax filing period. This is exactly the type of publicity no government agency wants. Yet at the state and local level, an embarrassing customer service meltdown may be inevitable. If, like the IRS, a state or local agency relies primarily on contact center agents or state workers to personally resolve an issue, a huge bottleneck can occur during peak usage periods or when an interruption or disaster occurs. And what if systems in place fail first, like this example shows? 

Topics: Process Improvement

State of Georgia Improves Citizen Engagement

Topics: Success Stories

Effective Human Services Program Engagement

Human services programs address fundamental needs for children, pregnant women, and needy families. Recipients of SNAP, WIC, and TANF disbursements, child support payments, and other emergency and child advocacy programs depend on these funds for food, shelter, and other necessities.

So it’s especially important for government entities to provide a fast, flexible, easy-to-use support solution for their human services programs without outdated processes and technologies standing in their way.  

Topics: Success Stories Human Services