Congratulations to LUCI grad student Lynn Dombrowski on passing her advancement to candidacy exam!
The Role of e-Government Intermediaries in Access and Use of Government Nutrition Assistance Programs
“E-Government technologies are assumed to transform the relationship between citizens and their governments through creating new forms of interactions provided by the Internet, but there are few empirical examinations on how this transformation might take place for low-resource populations. In this work, I detail the social, informational, and technical practices of nonprofit workers, who I call “e-Government intermediaries”, in their work of assisting their clients with gaining access to and use of government nutrition assistance programs. I explore the four mediation activities these workers engage in to make the online application and government program a viable option for their communities: outreach, technological assistance, providing knowledge, and ongoing engagement. I then examine two major challenges that occur in their work of mediating government programs: access and trust. These two challenges directly relate to the mediation activities. The challenge of access relates the mediation activity of technical assistance. I detail the practical accomplishment of access, which enables outreach workers to perform technical assistance. The other challenge of the mediation activities is trust, which pervades all of the mediation activities, as it must be continually negotiated, but is most strongly associated with the mediation activity of outreach. Lastly, I articulate design implications to support these e-Government intermediaries’ and their practices that facilitate digital and social inclusion.”
Gillian Hayes (Co-Chair), Melissa Mazmanian (Co-Chair), Paul Dourish, Geoffrey Bowker, Bill Tomlinson, Michael Montoya