U.S. Digital Response: Crisis Tech Response to Keep Government Systems Running

How cities can access free capacity and tech support from a network of experts

Last week, What Works Cities hosted a webinar with U.S. Digital Response (USDR) for cities interested in learning more about the assistance USDR can provide them and how to get access to its network of free volunteer support.

You can watch the full webinar here.

About U.S. Digital Response

USDR is a volunteer-run, non-partisan organization started by former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officers and seasoned tech industry veterans in direct response to the dire need they saw for additional capacity across all levels of government as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The organization aims to connect state, county, and city governments with volunteers to provide collaborative support on a wide range of projects while government staff capacity is stretched to the limit by the demands of the pandemic.

Interested cities can complete a Request for Help form to be matched.

USDR City Project Examples

Here are a few examples of the kinds of data and technology projects that USDR has been able to assist local governments with, along with details on how your city can get matched.

Coordinating and Mobilizing Volunteers Through Tailored Online Platforms

Many cities and states are looking for ways to leverage local volunteer networks to get groceries delivered and to have check-ins with vulnerable populations. Concord, CA was one of the first cities to work with USDR to expand its existing Meals on Wheels offerings to support this at-risk community.

The customizable Neighbor Express platform developed by USDR volunteers in collaboration with the City of Concord.
The Neighbor Express site for Walnut Creek, CA.

Automating Cities’ Internal Processes and Digitizing Forms

Another way that cities can leverage USDR’s rich volunteer network is on projects related to digitizing forms and automating processes that historically required people to be in person or had to be done manually — a time consuming and unsustainable process given social distancing measures that limits in person interactions.

How to Access USDR’s Support and How It Works

Helping leading cities across the U.S. use data and evidence to improve results for their residents. Launched by @BloombergDotOrg in April 2015.