A $25 million five-year research alliance between the CSIRO and Centrelink will look at new ways to deliver government services.
Innovation minister Kim Carr said the CSIRO would study the way humans engaged with government and how that could be improved through technology and data analysis.
About 80 staff from Centrelink and the CSIRO were involved in the project.
“By combining research expertise in complex systems analytics, information technology, mathematics, statistics and socio-economic modelling, CSIRO can help improve the lives of all Australians," Carr said in a statement.
CSIRO executive director of development James Moody told iTnews that Centrelink wanted to match its service delivery mechanisms with the different ways people wanted to be able to access them.
He believed exploration of Centrelink service delivery through social networks was an option.
"Younger people may want to have something on Centrelink's website that they can interact with," Dr Moody said.
"You might be able to deliver a service through your phone or your computer. It's about understanding the systems from the user's point of view."
Human services Minister Chris Bowen said the research would allow more than six million users of Centrelink to become more self-sufficient "by making sure the services [the agency] provides were appropriate and, where needed, actively created a circuit-breaker to cycles of welfare dependence".