AIRS Recommends Open Referral for Resource Database Interoperability

On behalf of the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), I am pleased to announce that the AIRS Board has moved to promote the adoption Open Referral’s Human Service Data Specification and API protocols as methods of establishing interoperability among resource databases and associated technologies.

Our aim is to create secure, controlled and affordable processes with which Information and Referral (I&R) organizations can securely share resource database records from their own software system with other systems — and Open Referral has demonstrated considerable success in helping this field move toward that goal.

AIRS is an international association of I&R service providers. Continue reading

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Annual Review wrap-up: the path ahead

In 2014, we formed a table and conducted research. In 2015, we initiated action. In 2016, we’ll put these ideas to the test, and learn from our work. Based on your feedback so far, here’s what that might look like…

(This note is far from a final word on the matter — please share your own feedback in our community forum and/or directly via email. Thanks for your insights!) Continue reading

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Data for Good Exchange: a new paper with an old concept

In late September I had the privilege to discuss our work at the Data for Good Exchange, a symposium hosted by Bloomberg.

As part of the event, I presented a paper which you can read here.

Much of the paper recaps the thinking and work behind the Open Referral initiative to date…. Then, taking into account some of the lessons we’ve learned over the past year, I editorialize a bit. Continue reading

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Deep Dive into version 1.0

Earlier this month, we published version 1.0 of the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS). Let’s take a deeper dive into it.

What is the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS)?

The HSDS is a format for data exchange, specifically designed to enable the publication of machine-readable data about health, human, and social services that are available to people in need.

HSDS is essentially an interlingua — in other words, it’s a common language that can be used by anyone to enable community resource directories to ’talk’ to each other.

 

Why did we develop the HSDS?

We believe that development of an open, standardized format is a necessary step in a process of reducing the costs of producing directory data, increasing the quality of such data, and promoting its re-use in valuable ways. Continue reading

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Our Inaugural Year in Review

As we wrap up 2015, 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.

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. Continue reading

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