What is the difference between Open211 and Open Referral?

Open Referral is both the name of this community of practice, and also the shorthand name of our format for community resource data (which is technically known as the Human Services Data Specification).

Open211 is a name that has been used by various people and organizations over the years. 2-1-1 Ontario has an ‘Open211’ API (the first of its kind, to our knowledge). In 2011, a Code for America fellowship team built a (now defunct) Open211 app. One of the first pilot projects for Open Referral was a group of organizations and technologists in DC who described themselves as ‘DC Open211.’ Open211 is a concept, not a formal institution.

Ohana is both the name of the Code for America fellowship team that developed a ‘first draft’ of this model, and also the name of an API (Application Programming Interface) that the Ohana team developed in San Mateo county. The Ohana API was subsequently redeveloped to serve as the initial ‘reference implementation’ of the Open Referral model. The Ohana project is now defunct. [See the Ohana API on Github here.]

Posted in: About Open Referral