Devising Lifecycle phase

During the Devising phase, agency officials are considering using new technology or making revisions to existing technical systems to administer one or more public benefits programs. This could be to solve a problem they have identified with benefits administration, to implement policy changes that affect eligibility determinations, or for other reasons. During this phase, the agency will start to define system requirements and other information that will go in a request for proposals (RFP).

Are we missing any information sources, ways to participate, or case studies at the Devising phase? Let us know using our contact form!

Information Sources

In the Devising phase, formal sources of information are not available, making it difficult for advocates to know that an agency is even considering adopting benefits tech. It’s useful to highlight these information gaps so that advocates can demand more information throughout the lifecycle and intervene before harmful technology is used.

  • There are no formal sources of information at this phase.
  • If advocates have existing relationships with agencies, they may learn that an agency is considering a new benefits tech system or changes to an existing system.
  • Agencies may also discuss their plans to develop new systems in public meetings, in presentations to the legislature about program changes, or in public budget discussions.
  • Agency officials might be talking behind the scenes about their plans. A public records request can get their emails, slideshow presentations, or draft documents. Check out our Public Records Request Guide for more information about this process and how to use it to learn more about benefits tech.

Ways to Participate

The list below highlights ways that advocates and people getting benefits can participate in the Devising phase of the lifecycle. As with information sources, the ways for advocates to participate in shaping benefits technology are limited, especially early in the lifecycle. We seek to increase meaningful participation mechanisms throughout the lifecycle. This includes demanding more robust formal mechanisms as well as developing strategies for informally influencing the benefits tech lifecycle to prevent harmful benefits tech, or at least mitigate negative effects.

  • There are still no formal participation mechanisms at this phase. Check out our resources on informal ways to influence the benefits tech lifecycle: Media Advocacy Guide; Community Building Advocacy Guide.
  • If advocates are aware that new technology is being devised by an agency, they can push for meetings with the agency to help shape the project.

Case Studies

We do not currently have any case studies that began at the Devising phase of the lifecycle.

Related Resources

Making Sense of Technology Problems Framework

This framework provides strategies for resolving different types of technology problems, based on our experiences.

Key Questions Guide

This guide will help you start piecing together why and how benefits tech is being used and how it is impacting people.

Public Records Request Guide

This guide will help you think through how you can use public records requests to help find out why the state decided to implement a benefits technology system, how they implemented it, and how they are using it.