Alameda County announced Thursday that employees had created an app concept to automate some of the county’s inefficient processes.
They created the app at an internal hackathon called “Rethink AC” where more than 100 county employees collaborated to ideate ways to enhance the technological resources available to residents. The day-long event resulted in more than eighteen application concepts that focused on reducing the county’s carbon footprint and enhancing customer service.
“This event exceeded everyone’s expectation,’’ County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi said in a statement. “It goes to show you: never underestimate our County employees and what they can do!’’
A panel of judges whittled the ideas down in four categories: Innovation, Collaboration, Technology, and Green. Ultimately, the “Best of the Best” Award was bestowed upon nine employees who created a mobile application concept that would deliver information about community services such as housing, food, childcare, and transportation.
Other ideas presented at the Sept. 13 event included a project to put QR codes outside of county buildings that would link them to information. This was the first hackathon exclusively for County employees, according to Tim Dupuis, Interim Director of Information Technology.
Last year, Alameda County held two app challenges in which people were given open data sets and encouraged to find ways to make them more accessible. All these initiatives were inspired by President Obama’s Open Government Initiative, which asks government agencies to be more transparent with their data. Alameda County plans to host similar events in the future.
The timeline for producing the application has not been disclosed.