Over the last several years, the U.S. federal government has developed a number of collaborative digital services that can help federal agencies use data and technology to achieve their goals. A general best practice for federal agencies is to consider the following digital service teams as possible partners, where appropriate:
- 18F is an office within the U.S General Services Administration (GSA) that was started to “collaborate with other agencies to fix technical problems, build products, and improve how government serves the public through technology.”
- The United States Digital Service, known as USDS, is part of the Executive Office of the President. Its mandate is to help improve the government’s development of digital services. As part of this mission, USDS has worked with a number of agencies to provide a variety of new kinds of services to the public. These have included projects to help students and their parents find better value in college education, and to help veterans appeal decisions about their benefits.
- The Opportunity Project, developed by the White House, the Census Bureau at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “helps to empower people with technology, make government data more accessible and user-friendly, and facilitate cross-sector collaboration to build new digital solutions.” The Opportunity Project uses agile methodology and collaborative technology development sprints to create new data-driven tools and applications, including tools to help locate affordable housing and to map opportunities for children in different neighborhoods in major U.S. cities.
- The Joint Venture Program (JVP), which is managed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) within the U.S. Department of Commerce, assists “federal agencies in developing and implementing innovative ways to collect, connect, access, analyze, or use Federal data and data services.” The NTIS JVP consists of partnerships with private industry organizations that makes it easier for federal agencies to contract their services. Agencies come to the NTIS JVP with technical issues that they might otherwise address through government procurement.