Our Inaugural Year in Review

As we wrap up 2014, I’ve taken a moment to recap our launch and progress so far in an End of Year Report. The document is available for comment and download here, and embedded in full below. This website and our public documentation has been updated to reflect most of its key segments.

I’m including my own note of introduction here:

Last year, in 2013, I saw an opportunity. While working on what we now call DC Open 211 (which we then called the DC Community Resource Platform), I proposed a partnership to Code for America and the CfA fellows who built the Ohana Platform in San Mateo County. At the end of the year, the Ohana team won an award from the Knight Foundation’s Health Data Challenge. At that point, with Code for America’s support, we jointly convened the Open Referral Initiative.

This year, in 2014, we instigated a movement. Weaving together conversations among a lot of smart people with different kinds of experience in relevant fields, we formed the Open Referral community group. Through the drafting of Open Referral’s formative documents, we designed a plan in which a distributed network of stakeholders would work to establish open, interoperable community resource data platforms in their communities — working autonomously, while sharing a common format that will evolve according to their feedback. We validated this plan at a multi-day, multi-stakeholder workshop, and developed the Human Services Data Specification through several iterations of community review.

Next year, in 2015, we will take coordinated action. Version 1.0 of our data spec will be released in January. Through our first pilot projects in DC and San Francisco, along with new pilot projects in Miami, Chicago, and elsewhere across the country and even around the world, we will support the use of this format through a series of open data exchanges implemented among lead stakeholders, who will also deliberate about the evolution and governance of the specification, associated tools, and the community at large. By testing our hypotheses and evaluating the result through local dialogues and across the network as a whole, we will conceive of new means to govern and sustain these resources over time.

Many thanks to the many people who have made this initiative possible, and to those who will join us to build this road toward a world where it’s easy for everyone to know what resources are available in their community.

Greg Bloom
Chief Organizing Officer

Full document available here, and below:


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