How were decisions made about HSDS?

Our initial governance model was structured around three elements: 1) a semi-regular Assembly video call, open to all participants [see an archive of these videos here], 2) convenings of diverse stakeholders in our Open Referral workshop [read the reportback here], and 3) a ‘workgroup’ consisting of leaders with a varied set of perspectives and experiences [see the workgroup archive here].

This workgroup collaborated in the solicitation and synthesis of feedback, the articulation of various options, and the making of recommendations for both the technical specification and for the process itself. Of all the feedback received from many different contributors, we assigned priority to the perspectives of the lead stakeholders of our pilot projects. This feedback was submitted to the sponsors of the Open Referral initiative (the Ohana Project and Code for America), who ultimately made decisions.

[Open Referral’s initial governance model is described in more detail in this memo. You can also read more about the nature of this ‘polycentric’ approach to governance in Derek Coursen’s blog post here.]

Watch our final pre-1.0 conversation about HSDS here, or embedded below:

Deep appreciation is due to our workgroup members — Eric Jahn of Alexandria Consulting, Derek Coursen of NYU’s Wagner School of Informatics, Neil McKechnie of iCarol, and Hailey Pate, a public servant with experience in both the Code for Sacramento brigade and the national EMS data standard — thank you all for your service!

For future cycles, we have our work cut out for us. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more detailed reflections and proposals for the next iteration of the Open Referral workgroup, which will directly address these issues of open source community governance. If this is something that interests you, please reach out because we’d like to work with you 🙂

Posted in: About the Human Service Data Specification