New Solutions for the Social Services Resource Directory Problem
Greg Bloom is the founder of Open Referral, which is promoting open access to information about the health, human, and social services available to people in need. He is also a visiting scholar at Indiana University’s Ostrom Workshop on the Commons. Previously, Greg managed communications for Bread for the City in D.C. He is a cooperative developer and community organizer, with experience in GOTV, class-action labor lawsuits, municipal budget battles, death penalty abolition campaigns, community wireless networks, and even a backyard-chicken legalization movement. He has been a fellow with Provisions Library and Civic Hall Labs and has published writing in In These Times, Civic Quarterly, Personal Democracy Forum, and Code for America’s Beyond Transparency.
In any given community, you’ll find that information about health, human, and social services are distributed through call centers, printed directories, web sites, and more; however, these information resources are typically maintained in redundant, incompatible and unsustainable silos.
It doesn’t need to be this way. The Open Referral Initiative has developed data standards and interoperable tools that make it easier for the same directory information (i.e. 'resource data') to be shared among many different systems simultaneously. In this session, we’ll learn about how cities around the country and beyond are making it easier to find information about the resources available to people in need—wherever one might look for it.