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Civic Bridge

Bridging the Public and Private Sectors on Critical Challenges

















Civic Bridge recruits private sector professionals to volunteer their time to work alongside government employees on critical City issues. Pro-bono, private-sector support can increase the City’s capacity to identify and analyze pain points, provide agile and iterative solutions, as well as increase interest in cross-sector collaborations. Civic Bridge is a cohort-based program, the program builds off of the example set by a number of Cities such as Chicago’s Civic Consulting Alliance and San Jose’s Silicon Valley Talent Partnership.


In 2015, MOCI piloted Civic Bridge with five private-sector teams. Volunteers used skills including data collection and analysis, visual interface design, and management strategy to help tackle problems like the surge in 911 call volume and how to search for affordable housing online


In fall 2017, Civic Bridge expanded to include 12 challenges ranging from tackling how to increase Medi-Cal enrollment and retention of the homeless population to designing the permitting process for the newly opened Office of Cannabis. 

Are you an industry partner interested in joining our Civic Bridge program? ​

Please contact us.


New Civic Bridge Model: Day of Service


In 2019, Civic Bridge expanded to include a new one-day model called Day of Service. Similar to the traditional 16-week Civic Bridge cohort program, Day of Service matched private sector volunteer teams with City Departments to tackle a civic challenge. During the course of one day, ten public-private partnership teams worked on ten unique challenges facing the City and its residents. 

Why Join Civic Bridge?

For City Departments

  • Access to unique skills and expertise

  • Bring the benefit of new insights, approaches, methodologies and ongoing interactions with pro-bono teams to department staff

  • Reduce reduce time and costs of delivering services to residents

For Industry and Nonprofit Partners

  • Recruit and retain top talent

  • Facilitate leadership development of high performers

  • Build networks and learn to work with City Departments

  • Cultivate public goodwill in the region where employees live

For Volunteers

  • Apply your skills to a crucial challenge in your community

  • Learn about local government

  • Build lasting relationships with members of your team, Civic Bridge pro-bono team alumni, and city staff

Case Study:
Google and MOHCD

A team of volunteers from Google helped the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) do user research and project scoping for a new digital public service that will let users search and apply for city-funded housing programs online, saving the project team time and money as they move to build the new service -- and produce a more simple, easy-to-use product. Browse the new affordable housing portal.

From Civic Bridge Partners

“The team from Google that came to DEM [Department of Emergency Management] through Civic Bridge were a pleasure to work with and of tremendous assistance. Their analysis is helping 9-1-1 make operational changes and deploy resources in ways that will meet the changing needs of our evolving city.  The real good that came from this project was not just the Googlers’ analysis and recommendations, but also the on-going benefit to existing staff from the interactions and discussions that came from this collaboration.”


--Anne Kronenberg 

Executive Director, Department of Emergency Management

Case studies: 2018 Civic Bridge Cohort


Improving the Complainant Experience

Department: Department of Police Accountability (DPA)

Partner: Slalom

DPA sets the national standard for effective civilian police oversight, overseeing over 500 complaints yearly about possible police misconduct. DPA is looking to further enhance their customer experience. Slalom helped DPA to develop a new strategy and operating procedures, improve the information exchange and case tracking systems.


Improving Access to Services for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Communities

Department: Office of Transgender Initiatives (OTI)

Partner: Fuse Corps

OTI is the first and only City office in the country dedicated to advancing policies, programs and initiatives that support thriving transgender and gender nonconforming communities. Individuals persistently stated a lack of knowledge about all the services available and how to navigate them. The project team increased access to the existing information through making a service manual more user-centered, adding translation into four languages and furthering digital outreach.


A San Francisco Model for Medical 9-1-1 Calls Not Requiring an Ambulance

Department: Department of Emergency Management (DEM)

Partner: California College of the Arts, Cosine Collective (Cosine)

The 9-1-1 system dispatches an ambulance to nearly all incoming medical calls, even when the medical issue might be more effectively (in terms of patient outcome) and efficiently (in terms of public dollars spent) dealt with at a alternative entry point in the public health system. Cosine researched other cities who use a nurse triage system to understand how to replicate the model in San Francisco, exploring the road to implementation for partnering City departments.


Designing a Service Pilot for the Street Medicine Team

Department: Department of Public Health (DPH)

Partner: fuseproject

San Francisco has an estimated 22,500 active injection drug users, half of whom report using heroin. The Street Medicine low barrier medical assisted therapy program is one part of the City’s comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic. San Francisco has invested $6 million to create a dedicated drug addiction street team. The program is a first-in-the-nation. fuseproject helped to digitize DPH’s innovations so that the department can more easily share learnings across a larger community of practice of cities and organizations looking for innovative harm reduction approaches.


Delivering on Tenant Right to Counsel

Department: Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development

Partner: Fuse Corps

On June 5, 2018, San Francisco voters passed Proposition F, “No Eviction Without Representation Act of 2018,” establishing a policy that all residential tenants facing eviction have a right to legal counsel. San Francisco will be the first jurisdiction in California and second nationally to guarantee a tenant’s right to counsel. The project team co-designed a coordinated referral system that will enable local legal aid organizations to understand real-time service capacity, and effectively intake, prioritize and direct requests for legal counsel.


Pit Stop: Upgrading the Operational Model

Department: Public Works

Partner: Digitalist

Public Works manages and operates the Pit Stop Program, which provides clean and safe public toilets, sinks, used needle receptacles and dog waste stations in San Francisco’s most impacted neighborhoods. Collectively, Pit Stops account for approximately 300,000 flushes a year, averaging about one flush

every two minutes. The program also provides job training, delivers employment and workforce development opportunities. The Digitalist team created operating procedures, a process to

establish Pit Stop locations and recommendations around data collection and visualization to enable Pit Stop to scale more successfully.


Street Cleaning: Piloting for Increased Efficiency

Department: Public Works

Partner: Harvard Business School Community Partners (HBSCP)

In the prior year, Public Works received more than 250,000 requests related to street cleaning. HBSCP conducted a peer city review and analysis to develop pilots to increase enforcement of illegal dumping, align Supervisor districts with Public Works officers and other innovative ideas to test on a smaller scale.


Data and Related Services

Department: DataSF

Partner: Adobe

DataSF is the City and County of San Francisco’s data office charged with empowering the use of City data. They focus on three core program areas: Data Infrastructure, Data Governance and Policy, and Data Use. Adobe developed a tool and approach to assist departments in making decisions on technology for improve data sharing and integration among many systems in the service of better outcomes for San Francisco residents.


Sharing, Learning & Deepening Impact of Pro-bono Work Across the City

Department: Office of Civic Innovation (OCI)

Partner: Adobe

The Office of Civic Innovation makes government more collaborative, inventive, and responsive for San Franciscans. Through their signature partnership programs, City Departments have adopted new methods of delivering services that are more human-centered, efficient and impactful for residents. Often innovations developed in one City Department are relevant to other Departments’ operational, policy, or strategic challenges. Adobe worked with OCI to establish a process to share and replicate innovations to other relevant Departments to deepen the impact of pro-bono engagements and make services more accessible for residents.

Select Civic Bridge Partners