All communities grapple with complex social problems that have detrimental effects on the well-being of their populations. One shared goal across problem-solving communities is the ability to improve outcomes for affected populations by increasing interoperability, refining resource alignment, and streamlining community services. Technology is often looked to as a panacea for achieving these systems-level advancements. Here, technology becomes the catalyst that prompts a community to advance its culture, governance, and infrastructure. For technology projects to truly be effective, there must be underlying community-wide principles that guide new initiatives and a framework through which individual stakeholders can weigh the pros and cons of different solution architectures.
This paper details the framework and accompanying principles that can assist communities in moving toward a more aligned, efficient, and interconnected state. We show how these concepts are tools that enable communities to apply successful service design principles to complex social problems, and we offer a case study of an initiative that follows this thinking.