In the District of Columbia, we’re developing a new approach to the very old problem of resource directory information management. Years ago we shared the story of the first phase of our work here on this blog, and we’re now excited to share results from our second phase.
The DC Community Resource Information Exchange initiative (DC CoRIE) is an initiative to develop infrastructure and capacities to support coordination of care across health and social service sectors in the District of Columbia. Led through partnership among government agencies, community organizations, and technology providers – including the DC Department of Health Care Finance, the DC Primary Care Association and its DC-PACT coalition, and CRISP DC – DC CoRIE seeks to enable exchange of information about resources, and about people, across diverse organizational contexts and technology systems, in promotion of equitable health outcomes.
One of DC CoRIE’s primary goals is to establish a sustainable supply of comprehensive, reliable information about the resources available to people in need. In 2019, we discussed this goal with a group of people who already maintain resource directories, and named the central challenge of this problem: resource directory information requires significant effort to reliably maintain, and at the same time, people want to use it not just in one “centralized” system but across an ecosystem of distributed contexts and technologies. In order to pursue this vision of a healthy information ecosystem, we resolved that our work should leverage the assets that are already in our community. (See the report from our participatory deliberation process here). Together, we identified three objectives for this phase:
- Prototype resource directory information system that is designed for interoperability – such that the contents of the CRI could be accessed by any third party system.
- Develop a collaborative network of data stewards who will support this system by sharing data management responsibilities.
- Demonstrate the potential for this system to serve as a canonical source of open data about local human services.
In 2021, we accomplished each of these objectives – and we are now initiating our next phase, through which we will formalize this framework. Check out our final report for this phase here.
Below, we’ll provide more context for our project’s objectives and the path ahead.