New Partnerships up North: Open Referral in Canada

[UPDATE: The Ontario Non-Profit Network has posted its ‘Data Strategy,’ which specifically references the emerging partnerships described below. Check it out!]

Canada is an international leader in the field of open data, especially in the non-profit sector. The Canadian Revenue Agency was the first government entity of its kind to publish open, machine-readable data about the charity sector, including every gift made by foundations and charitable funds. Above and beyond this step, Canada’s open data portals — local, provincial, and federal — have been publishing vast amounts of data, including directory information about human services.

This is why it’s especially exciting to announce our new partnership between PoweredbyData and Open Referral. (See PoweredbyData’s announcement here.)….

We’re also pleased to share here that Ontario 211 will begin testing the publication of their resource database (which spans the entire province) in the Human Service Data Specification (aka the Open Referral format) over the course of the summer. This will pose a unique opportunity for public and civic initiatives — in the information-and-referral sector and beyond — to experiment with innovative new ways to share and deliver resource data for service delivery, research and analysis. Continue reading

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Huertas de Datos: Open Referral in Madrid

Early last month, I traveled to Madrid to discuss the community resource directory data problem, and our work here in the Open Referral initiative, at the commencement of a civic hacking workshop hosted by Medialab-Prado.

Medialab-Prado is a publicly-funded “citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects that explore collaborative forms of experimentation and learning that have emerged from digital networks.”

And it’s a beautiful space, too 🙂

Given that frame of the workshop was ‘Commoning Data,’ I felt like this was an invitation I shouldn’t pass up. Continue reading

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Helping HelpSteps Step Forward

Conceived and built by a team at Boston Children’s Hospital, (formerly known as The Online Advocate) is designed to help individuals and families identify social service needs and connect to local organizations best suited to meet those needs. The database includes over 1,700 organizations in the greater Boston area, and is maintained through partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission’s Mayor’s Health Line. …

This summer, the HelpSteps team is adopting the Ohana API and the Open Referral format… Continue reading

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Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best: Data Standards, Superstorm Sandy, and our Resilient Future

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many residents of New York City were left struggling.

Though a broad array of supportive services are available to survivors — from home rebuilding funds to mental health treatment — it’s often hard for people to know what’s available and how to access it. New York City lacks any kind of centralized system of information about non-profit health and human services. Given the centrality that non-profit organizations play in disaster relief and recovery in the United States, this information scarcity means that, for many NYC residents, recovery from Sandy never quite happened… Continue reading

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