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Notify

   
model Built Here, Others Use
service type Communication
countries United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, U.S.
government type national
license open
Website https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/
GitHub https://github.com/alphagov/notifications-api

notify screenshot

Description

Notify is a Software-as-a-Service tool, hosted by a central authority, that participating agencies can use to send emails, text messages, and postal letters. Agencies can make an API call to Notify, specifying a message and a recipient, and Notify handles rendering it as an email, text message, or printed letter, and then sending it.

Notify was created by the UK’s Government Digital Service, and they are the only country to deploy it at a wide scale. They make it available to localities, the military, government schools, government health services, and national government agencies.

As a result of this approach, Notify is a sort of cooperative of cooperatives, with each installation of the software serving all members of that particular cooperative.

Canada and Australia digital services host their own versions of Notify for the benefit of their governments. Australia limits the functionality to text messages and emails (not postal letters). Canada reports that 73 “services” are using Notify, and Australia reports 238 federal customers, 118 state/territory customers, and 31 local government customers.

Notify was put into use by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in February of 2021, branded as “VANotify.” Their work is available on GitHub.