How to Make A Grant Status Check Tool?

How to Make A Grant Status Check Tool?

From Sajjid Khan

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A grant status check tool allows people who have applied for grants to check on the status of their application. It provides a convenient way for applicants to get real-time updates on where their application is in the review and decision-making process without having to directly contact the grantor. This type of tool is useful for both grantors and applicants as it reduces inquiries and provides transparency.

In this guide, I will walk through the key steps for developing a custom grant status check web application. I will also discuss the SASSA status check tool as an example of an existing system.

Key Development Steps

Define requirements

  • The first step is to define the detailed requirements for the tool:
  • What information should it track? Application ID, date submitted, current status, next steps, etc.
  • What grant programs will it cover? Education, housing, business, disaster relief, etc.
  • Who will the users be? Grant applicants only? Admins?
  • What functionality is needed? Search, notifications, etc. Get input from all stakeholder groups to ensure you gather all needs.

Design database structure

  • The underlying database will store and organize all status data on applications. Assess the types of data to store, and how they relate, and determine the tables and fields your database will need. Common tables may include:
  • Application table with app ID, applicant ID, dates, status
  • User table with applicant contact information
  • Status table with defined stages and steps
  • Admin table for tool admins/grant program managers

Develop API

  • The API (Application Programming Interface) will facilitate communication between the front-end UI and the back-end database. It exposes various endpoints that serve data to the UI and process requests and data submissions. The API should enable actions like fetching status data for an application, updating status, searching applications, and contacting applicants.

Build a responsive user interface

  • The UI should allow all permitted users to access and interact with the tool intuitively across all devices. Key aspects to include:
  • Easy search/lookup by application ID
  • Status displayed prominently
  • Progress tracking against process steps
  • Email/alert notifications and contact info
  • Responsive mobile-friendly design
  • Accessibility features

Incorporate notifications

  • Email, text, or in-app notifications should alert users when the application status is updated or next steps must be taken. Configure notification triggers and logic based on status changes.

Implement security protections

  • Protect personal applicant data and tool access via protocols like HTTPS, OAuth, permissions levels, multi-factor authentication, and stringent password rules.

Conduct testing

  • Do extensive user testing on all components and features with real users across roles to identify issues and refine the tool. Key aspects to test include UI/UX, accessibility, notifications, expected vs actual statuses, errors, security threats, load capacity, and disaster recovery processes.

Plan maintenance & enhancements Monitor

  • System data and user feedback closely after launch to fix issues. Prioritize additional tool capabilities and grant program integrations to expand over time per stakeholder requests.

SASSA Status Check Overview

An example grant status system is the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) status check tool. This system allows applicants who have applied for the social relief of distress grant access to information on whether their application is approved, declined, or still pending.

Key features of the SASSA status check tool include:

  • Lookup by ID number and mobile number used during the application
  • Background verification results displayed
  • Status displayed prominently
  • Summary description of the meaning of the status
  • Contact information for follow-up questions

 

The tool provides a simple and convenient user experience for applicants to track their social relief grants without needing to go directly through SASSA administrative offices. The eventual vision is to consolidate status visibility across other SASSA grants onto a single platform.

Conclusion

Developing a useful and user-friendly grant status lookup tool requires strategic planning, technical skills, and an orientation toward customer service. Following steps like those outlined as well as studying examples like SASSA provides a blueprint for success. The ability to instantly check a grant application status 24/7 results in greater transparency, efficiency, and ultimately better services for all involved.

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