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Open Referral

Open Referral is an emerging, independent community of practice committed to the development of open standards and interoperable platforms for the production and sharing of human service directories.

Open Referral was instigated by the DC Open211 project, and has been co-sponsored by Code for America (CfA), in partnership with the Ohana project. It is now a community of practice with multiple pilot projects across the world.

The Human Service Data Specification (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. [See the data specification in Github.]

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.