Research and Advances
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Automated welfare client-tracking and service integration: the political economy of computing


The impacts of an automated client-tracking system on the clients, caseworkers, administrators, and operations of the welfare agencies that use it are reported. The major impact of this system was to enhance the administrative attractiveness of the using agencies in the eyes of funders rather than to increase their internal administrative efficiency. This impact is a joint product of both the technical features of the computer-based system and of the organizational demands placed upon different agencies, administrators, and caseworkers. It illustrates the way “successful” automated information systems fit the political economies of the groups that use them.

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