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Recoding America With Jennifer Pahlka — ICYMI

Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka boldly calls for “recoding” American government to reclaim it for the people it is supposed to serve.

Former Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States Jennifer Pahlka has seen government dysfunction firsthand. As part of the California government strike team tasked to make recommendations for modernizing the state's unemployment systems during the pandemic, she saw how poorly designed and outdated fraud protection techniques resulted in millions of people being denied benefits.

In her book, Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better, she takes a hard look at the gap between desired policy outcomes and actual results. The solution, she argues, is not necessarily more money or more technology, but changing a rigid government culture where those dictating policy are disconnected from (and too often disdainful of) the details of implementation.

Jennifer joins Dustin Haisler and Joe Morris on this episode of "In Case You Missed It" to discuss how burdensome paperwork leads to less equitable outcomes, the lack of learning when insights flow down but rarely bubble back up, why public servants have an incentive to do what they are told to do even when they know it won't work, and the need to interpret rules in ways that are easy to understand — as well as serve the intent of the law.



“In Case You Missed It” is Government Technology’s weekly news roundup and interview live show featuring e.Republic* Chief Innovation Officer Dustin Haisler and Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris as they bring their analysis and insight to the week’s most important stories in state and local government.

Follow along live Fridays at 12 p.m. PST on LinkedIn and YouTube.


GovTech Biz
Dustin Haisler is the president of Government Technology's parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As President, Haisler drives exponential growth, implements new ideas and promotes a corporate culture that rewards creativity. Read his full bio.
Joseph Morris is the chief innovation officer of <i>Government Technology</i>’s parent company e.Republic and a national keynote speaker on issues, trends and drivers impacting state and local government and education. He has authored publications and reports on funding streams, technology investment areas and public-sector priorities, and has led roundtables, projects and initiatives focused on issues within the public sector. Joe has conducted state and local government research with e.Republic since 2007 and knows the ins and outs of government on all levels. He received his Bachelor of Arts in government and international relations from the California State University, Sacramento.