Delivering a Human-Centered Safety Net in a Time of Crisis

In just over a month, with mass layoffs and furloughs across the country, more than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid. Under urgent demand and unprecedented operating conditions, governments are rising to meet critical needs covered by social safety net programs at the center of government response to the effects of COVID-19.

During operational upheaval, human-centered approaches might feel like they can be easily jettisoned. But being human-centered is not only relevant during this time of crisis—it’s vital. If we’re to make a difference to tens of millions of people in need and make sure our society’s support structures are up to the task, then we need to be more human-centered than ever.

Last week, we virtually convened a panel of speakers who have spent their careers improving outcomes and the delivery of government services. Their conversation explored practical advice for all levels of government on improving safety net outcomes, how government teams are empowering frontline workers for action, and why being human-centered is an essential north star during a crisis like this one.


Tracey Patterson: Senior Director, Social Safety Net, Code for America

Leo Ribas: Partner, Change & Innovation Agency

Robert Thompson: Deputy Administrator, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Welfare and Supportive Services

Jennifer Wagner: Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Dan Hon: Code for America Summit Co-Chair (Moderator)


Blueprint for a Human-Centered Safety Net: Code for America

Medicaid, SNAP, and Safety Net Programs — COVID-19: Change & Innovation Agency

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