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WIC Demonstration Project Webinar

Participant questions and answers

Just to confirm, this is not integrated with any state agencies so far. This effort is to kick-off the integration piece?

This project is intended to integrate an existing or new tool with your MIS. It will be a new project with a state agency tailored to that state agency.

What’s the email address to send the email of interest?

Send emails of interest to WICdemoproject@navapbc.com.

How does what one state does impact what another state does when we are talking about very different MIS systems across states? How is this about more than meeting the state’s needs and its tool and about the broader WIC community?

In our experience working on government technology development and implementation, the challenges you experience in your state are likely to be experienced in slightly different ways in other states.

The particulars of the selected state’s MIS, business process, and user needs might mean that a tool gets customized and connected into the system in different ways. But there’s a lot of opportunity to reuse a tool that’s been well designed for WIC user needs in one state. It would still require work to incorporate it into another state, but the other states would not need to start from scratch. This means they can focus on customizing the parts of the tool required to meet the unique needs of their participants, agency, and staff in their state and completing the integration with the MIS.

For this RFP, we are interested in the specifics of your state’s challenge that you’d like to address with integrating a tool with the MIS. You do not need to worry about generalizing the project as part of the application. We will work together to generalize the understanding from the work and determine which parts might be useful for reuse in other agencies vs. what is very unique for your agency.

Is there a timeline for how long the project will run?

Yes, the project will run for 6 months, from the date of the project kick-off. The project kick-off will occur after the contract between Nava and the state has been finalized.

Will Nava be working with multiple states on projects?

For this project, Nava will be working with only one state.

Is there any potential for support for the project manager? Coming from a small state, we don’t have that many staff.

Nava will work with the state agency to troubleshoot capacity issues for the project manager. This might mean thinking about creative ways to use less of the project manager’s time or spreading out project management tasks amongst a small team of people at the state agency with regular alignment meetings.

So, even if you have doubts about your project managers’ capacity, please submit so we can work with you. To manage expectations, know that Nava may choose to pursue another state if the creative solution to project manager capacity would impede the project timeline, outcomes, or anything else. At this time, we are not able to say whether we can provide funding directly to the state or via a 3rd party channel to support the project manager.

We have asked agencies to share their current capacity and capacity challenges in questions 20-22 of the Statement of Interest questionnaire.

How can we tag along with this project?

In so far as we are allowed to do so by the participants, Nava intends to share the lessons learned from this project with the broader WIC and civic tech communities and the public. The Nava team is also going to be actively seeking the state participants’ permission to create opportunities for other states to follow along with the process in real-time during the project period.

We will share more details about our knowledge sharing plans via National WIC Association communications channels.

Will we be a “pilot” site to test this new software? Is Nava using the state as an example for other states?

We will create a custom digital solution for the state we work with. Nava will release the code produced during the contract under an open source license so that it can be used at no cost by your WIC agency or another. Nava does not intend to market this product as a Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) product.

Because the code will be open sourced, other states can pick up and use some or all parts of the source code. They’ll be able to develop similar but tailored, customized products in their states as it makes sense for them. And, as the code will be open source, any vendor — including but not limited to Nava — could feasibly pick it up and use it in other states. Nava may use this code in service of engaging your WIC agency on a future contract or another WIC agency, if it’s appropriate. Additionally, all derivative products any vendor or agency creates from the original source code will also be required to be released under an open source license. No fees will be levied by Nava from your WIC agency or another WIC agency for use of this software.

In addition to sharing source code, we’ll also be requesting the state participant’s permission to share knowledge about implementing human-centered design and agile development processes in a WIC agency with the broader WIC community and the public. We’ll also be looking to obtain permissions to share the staff and participant experience outcomes as they’re impacted by integrating tools via API with the MIS.

What will happen after implementation? Would the state need to continue with Nava for operations? And who is absorbing those costs?

We can help you develop a plan to scale and support this tool, but staffing the operational support beyond the 6-month demonstration project is not included. Deciding who does the operational support is at the discretion of the state, after the demonstration project ends. Nava could negotiate ongoing support with an additional contract if the WIC agency is interested, or transition support to the state, the MIS vendor or another vendor — this is at the state’s discretion.

Is Nava’s vision to enhance a participant portal?

Nava’s vision is to help a state develop and integrate a new enrollment and certification tool or integrate an existing tool with their MIS via an API. We’ll help foster human-centered design and agile software development practices and help build knowledge and capacity for the state agency to use these practices in the future. The tool Nava builds could take many forms; it could feasibly involve enhancing a participant portal with a new modular tool that connects to the portal and the MIS via API.

Is Nava keeping within regulations in terms of online certifications?

Part of the Nava custom software development process involves ensuring that all regulatory and other program requirements are met. The tool developed with the state will meet current regulatory requirements and the state can choose to update the code in the future to adapt to any policy changes with their vendor of choice.

Nava also has staff who have WIC program, policy, and regulatory expertise who help translate WIC requirements into technology products.

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