Open Referral in Oklahoma!

This is a guest post from Aaron Bean of Asemio. Welcome, Aaron!

We’re pleased to introduce the first iteration of the Oklahoma Open 2-1-1 project, which is leveraging the Ohana platform and the Open Referral format to make it easier for Oklahoma residents to find and share information about community resources that can help improve their lives.

This is just an initial demonstration of a major initiative that dates back several years. A wide range of stakeholders across many sectors in Tulsa and our surrounding region have been developing a shared assessment of the complex nature of our social problems, and we have recently coalesced around a common goal: to understand and reduce disparities in health outcomes by race, class, and gender through a holistic view of the various community systems that serve individuals and families. (See our whitepaper PDF here.)

Toward this goal, we seek to answer the question of how we can better align and integrate the various resources in our community that might help solve complex social problems. Continue reading

Continue reading

HelpSteps introduces new open source mobile app

For over ten years, HelpSteps has been helping the people of Greater Boston find the social services they need…. Recently, HelpSteps has been working with the Open Referral initiative. By standardizing the way that social services information is stored and shared, the team has positioned itself to work more closely with related organizations.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of this approach can be seen in HelpSteps’ new, open source mobile app. Available today for iOS and Android, this app marks a significant leap forward in portability, usability, and design. Continue reading

Continue reading

New Partnerships up North: Open Referral in Canada

[UPDATE: The Ontario Non-Profit Network has posted its ‘Data Strategy,’ which specifically references the emerging partnerships described below. Check it out!]

Canada is an international leader in the field of open data, especially in the non-profit sector. The Canadian Revenue Agency was the first government entity of its kind to publish open, machine-readable data about the charity sector, including every gift made by foundations and charitable funds. Above and beyond this step, Canada’s open data portals — local, provincial, and federal — have been publishing vast amounts of data, including directory information about human services.

This is why it’s especially exciting to announce our new partnership between PoweredbyData and Open Referral. (See PoweredbyData’s announcement here.)….

We’re also pleased to share here that Ontario 211 will begin testing the publication of their resource database (which spans the entire province) in the Human Service Data Specification (aka the Open Referral format) over the course of the summer. This will pose a unique opportunity for public and civic initiatives — in the information-and-referral sector and beyond — to experiment with innovative new ways to share and deliver resource data for service delivery, research and analysis. Continue reading

Continue reading

Huertas de Datos: Open Referral in Madrid

Early last month, I traveled to Madrid to discuss the community resource directory data problem, and our work here in the Open Referral initiative, at the commencement of a civic hacking workshop hosted by Medialab-Prado.

Medialab-Prado is a publicly-funded “citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects that explore collaborative forms of experimentation and learning that have emerged from digital networks.”

And it’s a beautiful space, too 🙂

Given that frame of the workshop was ‘Commoning Data,’ I felt like this was an invitation I shouldn’t pass up. Continue reading

Continue reading

Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best: Data Standards, Superstorm Sandy, and our Resilient Future

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many residents of New York City were left struggling.

Though a broad array of supportive services are available to survivors — from home rebuilding funds to mental health treatment — it’s often hard for people to know what’s available and how to access it. New York City lacks any kind of centralized system of information about non-profit health and human services. Given the centrality that non-profit organizations play in disaster relief and recovery in the United States, this information scarcity means that, for many NYC residents, recovery from Sandy never quite happened… Continue reading

Continue reading

Open Referral in Action: the Purple Binder Platform

This is a guest post from Joseph Flesh, the co-founder of Purple Binder.

We’re proud to announce one of the first instances of open, standardized community resource data in action. Purple Binder and mRelief — another emerging civic technology startup based in Chicago — are using the Open Referral standard to integrate their applications.

Purple Binder matches people with the services they need to stay healthy… mRelief has similar goals of connecting people with resources that can help them meet their needs — but their product takes a very different approach. Continue reading

Continue reading