The Opportunity Project

Using data to help federal government programs reach communities can be a complex and expensive process. With the help of managers, eCivis is working on improving the process.

BLOG POST | Oct 13, 2017

by, Niles Anderegg, research and content development associate, ICMA  

In a period of budget cuts for state and local governments, finding new sources of revenue can be a goal for managers. One potential source of revenue is the federal government. Currently, federal government assistance programs account for as much as 20 to 30 percent of state and local government revenue.

While the federal government being a source of revenue is not that much of a surprise—after all, there are many federal government programs that are well known to local government leaders—what is a challenge is getting access to these funds, especially for smaller communities. Often, these federal programs are dependent on local governments providing data about their communities, and the data needed from localities changes from program to program and department to department. This means that applying for these federal programs and grants can be time-consuming and expensive for local governments to pursue. 

In order to fix these administrative problems and make the federal assistance programs more effective, Congress passed the DATA Act of 2014. As part of this law, the White House Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and other federal agencies were charged with creating a new project called The Opportunity Project. It aims to use technology to create new tools that make the administrative processes of these programs easier to use and more streamlined by making these tools work across the entire federal government, meeting the various government agencies’ requirements.

eCivis is one of the technology companies that is working on The Opportunity Project, and it needs your help to make this project a success. Take this short survey by November 3, 2017, and help ensure that federal data is used to better enrich the communities served by local government managers.

eCivis is an ICMA presidential-level Strategic Partner and is a sponsor of the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in Local Government scholarship.

For more information, read the project problem statement


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