At a Glance
Poverty and unequal access to government services are ongoing challenges for residents across Navajo County. To expand access to social services, the Northeast Arizona Community Resources Network deployed the open-source online portal.
Navajo County is a large, rural area with few jobs and struggles with very high levels of poverty. While there are a number of local government and non-profit social services agencies dedicated to helping people in fiscal crisis, the case managers at these agencies lacked the ability to generate a complete profile of their clients, understand what services they were already accessing and what services they were eligible to receive. People often had to travel from agency to agency to get the help they needed. Success or failure was often based on the case manager's knowledge of programs and experience working with people in poverty. This was frustrating for both case managers and clients, led to an inefficient and ineffective use of resources. Decision makers also lacked the information and insights to develop comprehensive programs for helping people end their cycle of poverty and reduce Navajo County’s poverty rate.
www.navajocountyaz.gov used/is using the Portal to streamline case management and access to services to address this/these challenge(s).
NACRN developed the HIGGLE solution to address the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) objectives to leverage the power of technology to reduce rural poverty and make it scalable to other communities across the state.
HIGGLE is a cloud based system that is simple for case managers to use on any device, whether in the office or in the field. HIGGLE provides case managers with both accurate information on the universe of benefits and services and how to apply for them and complete client profiles. Case managers log-in, find an existing client profile or build a new one and enter qualifying information. HIGGLE takes the guesswork out of service coordination through a simplified universal intake process and referral management program thus ensuring individuals receive all qualified services. The HIGGLE application compares the client information provided to benefit eligibility criteria and identifies all matches and provides the application and instructions to apply. With HIGGLE clients receive complete and accurate information and case managers are better able to help more people end their poverty with comprehensive services.
- Improve the customer experience for people in crisis seeking assistance.
- Improve the ability of case managers to match customers to the most helpful and relevant benefits, thus improving residents' quality of life and future prospects.
- Support efficient and effective use of government benefits and services.
- Increase collaboration across organizations to understand regional trends and reduce the poverty rate.
- Time savings for case workers allow them to focus on human support and connection rather than online research.
Working Backwards is a mechanism for innovation focused on meeting the needs of customers. The process creates deliverables, including a Press Release, Frequently Asked Questions and a Visual. The process is designed to answer questions about the customer and problem to ensure developers build the right solution.
Who Should Consider?
The NACRN tool is most applicable to social service agencies, NGO's, Workforce Investment Boards and other organizations that deliver benefits and manage cases.