Episode 17: Digitalizing government disbursements to enhance urban resilience featuring Visa and Washington D.C.

Jan 2024

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About This Episode

Paul Wilson, Chair of SmartCitiesWorld’s Advisory Board welcomes Agustin Botteron, former Chief Resilience Officer of Sante Fe, and Robert L. Matthews, Director of the Washington D.C. Child and Family Services Agency on a new episode of the Urban Exchange Podcast! The conversation is set in the context of the new publication titled “Government Disbursements and Urban Resilience. A practitioner’s point of view”, developed by Resilient Cities Network and edited by Visa Global Government Solutions in the context of their common program “Future Ready Cities”. Agustin, one of the co-authors of the publication, takes us through how digitalization of government disbursements, can make their reach to vulnerable families and communities more efficient, inclusive and resilient. Robert shares experiences from Washington D.C, and examples of how digital payouts has enhanced its existing grandparents’ caregivers’ programs through pre-paid cards to support kinship caregiving. Listen in!

The Speakers

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Agustin Botteron

Robert Matthews

Robert Matthews

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Paul Wilson

About Agustin Botteron

Agustín is a civil engineer and MS in civil and environmental engineering. He has more than 15 years of professional experience in consultancy, local government office and teaching and trainer roles. Between 2016 and 2022 he was linked to the practice of urban resilience and international cooperation for development in the government of the city of Santa Fe, Argentina. First as Deputy Chief Resilience Officer (2016 – 2019) and then as Chief Resilience Officer (2020 – 2022). During this period, he contributed to the development, drafting, and implementation of the Santa Fe Resilience Strategy, carrying out tasks of applying and managing resilience projects, organizing and facilitating participatory workshops with multiple stakeholders, dissemination of resilience initiatives, and exchanges of experiences in international forums. During the last 3 years he has done consulting work both domestically and internationally for organizations such as Argentina’s National Government, Santa Fe City’s international affairs agency, the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, Mercociudades and Resilient Cities Network to name some. Currently, he is the Regional Technical Support for Latin America and the Caribbean within the partnership between the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and the City Climate Finance Gap Fund.

About Robert L. Matthews

Robert L. Matthews is the Director of the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA). He manages the District’s child welfare and family strengthening system in this role. Previously, Director Matthews has served as the Deputy Director of Entry Services of CFSA and, most recently, Principal Deputy Director for the agency. A seasoned child welfare leader and manager, Director Matthews has more than two decades of experience within child- and family-serving organizations across the country. During his tenure at CFSA, Director Matthews has led improvements in kinship care programming, child abuse, and neglect investigations, and community-based prevention services. Additionally, he is responsible for CFSA’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) practice known as “The Finish Line,” which allowed the agency to meet the performance standards required to exit Federal Court oversight via the District’s 32-year LaShawn A. v. Bowser class-action lawsuit. Director Matthews’ career began in Tennessee within the Department of Children’s Services. He has held numerous roles within social services, including Assistant Commissioner of Adult and Family Services for the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Chief of Staff for Maryland’s Social Services Administration. Much of his experience in national child welfare reform comes from his time with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. He provided consulting services for Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Tennessee, and Georgia jurisdictions. With a proven track record of success in leadership within child welfare, Director Matthews has presented his initiatives and practices at the Child Welfare League of America Conference, the National Family Foster Treatment Association Conference, and the Black Administrators on Child Welfare Conference. Director Matthews received his Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Tennessee State University and holds a Master of Science in Public Administration from Cumberland University.

About Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the Chair of the SmartCitiesWorld Advisory Board, and Chief Business Officer for the Connected Places Catapult. Paul has more than 25 years’ international leadership, sales and marketing experience in the B2B Technology Media Telecom sector, including being CMO of global digital transformation association TM Forum and $3bn SunGard Financial Systems. After running the West of England LEP, Paul set up the multi-award-winning Bristol Is Open smart city project in 2014 and created the widely endorsed City as a Platform Manifesto a couple of years later. He went on to advise the UK Government on the design of its 5G Testbeds & Trials programme, and more recently on how the programme should evolve. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab.

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