Working across jurisdictions

While your program may be administered by and for your jurisdiction, there are likely other programs administered by federal, state, or local agencies that are also relevant to the residents of your jurisdiction. They may not know or care that certain programs are administered by the city, county, state -- they just need help. Surfacing programs from other jurisdictions can be a powerful way to connect residents with the services they need, regardless of where those programs are administered.

Integrating with other application systems

It's likely that programs operated by other jurisdictions already have existing tools and processes for accepting applications and delivering services. In this case, one possible approach is to work directly with those programs to establish data integrations with their existing systems as described in "Working with existing tools and processes".

If direct integrations are seen as too challenging, other approaches may include:

  • Exporting applications from CiviForm as PDFs and emailing them to programs if they accept email submissions.

  • Submitting applications directly through existing program websites via a headless browser. This can only be done if the existing website allows submissions without creating an account, and it may still require permission from the program.

These approaches are likely to provide a worse experience than direct integrations, so they should only be pursued if more direct approaches fail.

Incremental steps: Discovery, eligibility screening, and intake

If it seems infeasible to support submitting applications to programs in other jurisdictions, consider surfacing programs in other ways. As described in "Discovery, Eligiblity Screening, and Intake", it may still be valuable to surface programs from other jursdictions to help someone discover them if they are relevant to their needs. Additionally, providing screening functionality for that program can still help someone know whether or not it may be worth applying to with minimal marginal effort as they are screened for other programs within CiviForm. Finally, leveraging CiviForm for intake or referral to programs in other jurisdictions can directly connect someone to the right person for continued support.

Security and privacy considerations

It is essential that applicants understand how their information is being used when submitting an application from within CiviForm. If you plan to share information beyond your jurisdiction, clearly and plainly communicate where that information will be sent and how it will be used so that applicants can make informed decisions about whether or not they'd like to apply. See the "Security and privacy considerations" section for more information.

Data sharing agreements

Sharing information across jurisdictions may require a data sharing agreement. For more information, see the guide "Data Sharing to Build Effective and Efficient Benefits Systems" (PDF) by Benefits Data Trust.

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