City and County of San Francisco, CA
The City and County of San Francisco has engaged in two partnerships with Code for America focused on improving quality of life and community health for San Franciscans.
In 2013, the San Francisco Human Service Agency (HSA) and Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation (MOCI) approached Code for America to help create a more efficient and client-centered system for delivering CalFresh food stamps. In particular, they wanted to focus on reducing churn, or the number of clients unnecessarily dropping off and then returning to a service.
After user research with HSA clients to better understand their needs, the team learned that many clients were unaware of when they were about to lose their CalFresh benefits. As a result, many people would face sensitive situations of having their EBT cards denied at the grocery store. And worse, clients were then forced to navigate the complex application process and re-apply for the same services from scratch.
To give clients a better experience and help reduce churn, the team developed a text-messaging tool called Promptly, which texts a reminder to a client that they needed to re-enroll for CalFresh.
Also in 2013, the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Innovation and Public Health Department partnered with the restaurant review platform, Yelp, and Code for America to better expose their restaurant inspection data and create a safer, healthier dining experience. By making the Public Health Department’s data more visible, restaurants became more accountable to their scores, which would drive them to improve their food safety practices to attract customers.
The team also created a national data standard, or a universal way for other cities and counties to present and share their restaurant inspection data on the Yelp platform and other websites.