Food Assistance Outreach with e-Government Applications

October 1st, 2011  |  Published in Projects

Food Assistance Outreach with e-Government Applications

Current ResearchersLynn Dombrowski, Amy Voida, Melissa Mazmanian, and Gillian R. Hayes

Food assistance outreach workers assist clients in applying for governmental nutrition assistance programs utilizing both offline and online application systems. These outreach workers make e-Government applications and services accessible to their client populations, by engaging in extensive human effort on behalf of their clients by negotiating information exchanges between governmental organizations and individual clients, fostering client and government relationships, and non-directly supporting and explaining underlying governmental processes to clients.

Our research investigates several lines of inquiry. First, our research examines the role and experiences of different community partners who enable access and use of online services, including social service agencies and nonprofit organizations. Second, our work concerns understanding how different orientations towards the online application and service impact the application’s adoption and integration into community organizations and their work practices. Third, our work explores how the online application is implicated in reconfigurations of social networks and relationships within the community and groups of stakeholders.

Research on outreach workers can better position future iterations of e-Government solutions, as a rich understanding gives design insight into how e-Government solutions work “in the wild”, how e-Government solutions exist within social contexts and value systems, and how e-Government solutions might address currently existing technical and non-technical barriers.

Related Publications Links:
Dombrowski, L., Voida, A., Hayes, G.R., Mazmanian, M. (2012). The Labor Practices of Service Mediation: A Study of the Work Practices of Food Assistance Outreach. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012). Austin, Texas (May 5-10, 2012). New York: ACM Press. [acceptance rate: 23%]

Dombrowski, L., Hayes, G.R., Mazmanian, M. (2012). Tensions in the Use and Adoption of Technologies for Outreach. Workshop on Learning from Marginalized Users: Reciprocity in HCI4D at ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2012). Seattle, Washington (February 11-15, 2012).

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