Human Service Data Spec updated, now in spreadsheet form, with sample package

Spreadsheet designed by Christopher T. Howlett from the
Spreadsheet designed by Christopher T. Howlett from the

Currently in version 0.4, the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS) is under development by our technical lead, the Ohana Project’s Sophia Parafina, who is busy incorporating feedback from our workgroup, workshop, and public comments.

While Sophia’s work is underway, you can now look at this specification in two new ways: a spreadsheet version of our documentation, and a sample data package that actually presents data in the specified format.

See the HSDS in spreadsheet format here. (Please note that some sections have not yet been updated to reflect the most recent revision. We’d welcome your help, by the way; leave a comment in the doc if you’d be willing to help spot-check.) Thanks to Hailey Pate and Nivedita Chopra for their work in putting this together.

See a sample HSDS data package here. Thanks to Moncef Belyamani for this useful reference point.

Readers may note that HSDS has grown in size and complexity. What began about six months ago as a simple controlled vocabulary has now evolved to include a number of facets that were requested by stakeholders, such as a logical model and, in the upcoming version, the means to incorporate a taxonomy of service types and eligibility criteria.

Our challenge moving forward is to ensure that this format is robust enough to accommodate complex implementations — while remaining easy to use for those who have minimal technical capacity (i.e. most nonprofit organizations and public agencies 😉

The current target release for HSDS version 1.0 is in early January. Coming up soon on December 1st, we will release a near-final draft for public comment.

Mark your calendars for December 5th, 11a-2p EST, when we’ll host multiple video chat sessions, through which we’ll review the specification, the new Ohana API, the progress of our pilot projects and the Open Referral initiative overall. (Event link here – please RSVP.)

In the meantime, take a look at the documentation, and please share feedback!


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