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Harnessing Life Events to Connect Services to Citizens


Harnessing Life Events to Connect Citizens and Services: An Innovator’s Guide (/resource-center/knowledge-bank/harnessing-life-events-connect-citizens-and-services-innovator%E2%80%99s) – a comprehensive guide to the principles and processes that apply a “Life Events”-based approach to deliver customer-centered government services.

Harnessing Life Events Action Guide (/harnessing-life-events-action-guide) – a condensed executive-level summary of the actions required to implement a “Life Events”-based approach.

The Federal government provides a wide variety of services to citizens, but those services can often be difficult to find and take advantage of. Today, the public has new service expectations driven largely by modern technology and business processes used by many private sector organizations. Modeled on those examples, the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation undertook this project to help improve how the Federal government uses technology to deliver services to citizens.

By focusing on “Life Events”, i.e. things that happen in people’s lives that stimulate the need for government services, this approach can provide a more user-friendly, citizen-centric way for the government to deliver services. Currently, citizens have to search across multiple agencies’ web sites to find the services for which they are eligible. Under this new approach, they would be able to connect with a government organization and gain an understanding of and access to the services related to the life event impacting them. The result to the citizen is a rapid, personalized, and seamless service experience with the government – as opposed to a complex web of agencies and programs.

For example, if someone had a baby and needed to know all of the government services they were eligible for related to that Life Event; all they would have to do is enter that event into a single government website. They would automatically be directed to useful government services and benefits such as the Social Security Administration for a social security number, the Internal Revenue Service for tax deductions, social programs, etc.

The project addressed:

  1. How to advance improved customer service through a Life Event focus.
  2. How to use Life Events to improve information sharing.
  3. How to measure improvements in service resulting from a Life Event focus and how to measure government contribution/support for a Life Event.

The project was led by: 
Government Chair: Herb Strauss, Social Security Administration
Industry Chair: Pete Wilson, ICF International 

Questions regarding the project can be directed to [email protected].


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