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Public-Private Data Sharing Initiatives that Improve I&R for Everyone
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Public-Private Data Sharing Initiatives that Improve I&R for Everyone

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This workshop given at the AIRS 2008 National Conference, outlines best practices in creating community-wide data sharing partnerships for I&R. Practical advice from successful initiatives in …

This workshop given at the AIRS 2008 National Conference, outlines best practices in creating community-wide data sharing partnerships for I&R. Practical advice from successful initiatives in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are presented, helping participants understand how to overcome the technical and political barriers to creating effective collaborations that improve the quality of every agency’s I&R services, reduce inefficiencies in the process and provide a greater level of self-sufficiency for individuals seeking help. Successful approaches to raising funds within your organization, from government agencies and the philanthropic community are discussed, leaving participants with a roadmap for developing, implementing and funding a community-wide I&R data sharing initiative. Presenters: John M Pierce, Allegheny County Department of Human Services; Josh Knauer, Rhiza Labs. For more information: http://www.rhizalabs.com

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  • 1. Public-Private Data Sharing Initiatives that Improve I&R for Everyone John Pierce, PhD., JD, Deputy Director, Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services Josh Knauer, CEO, Rhiza Labs (Formerly of MAYA Design)
  • 2. Allegheny County Overview Includes City of Pittsburgh and 129 other municipalities • Population: 1,281,666 • Families below poverty level: 7.9% • Median family income: $49,815 • Population served by Dept of Public Welfare: 6.5%
  • 3. Allegheny County Department of Human Services The Department of Human Services (DHS) is a multi- service agency that resulted from combining six independent county departments in 1997. Current Offices: • Area Agency on Aging • Behavioral Health • Children, Youth and Families • Community Services • Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities DHS serves more than 200,000 residents annually
  • 4. Allegheny County Department of Human Services DHS values consumer choice DHS contracts with more than 400 community organizations These agencies provide multiple services at more than 5000 locations
  • 5. The Need Information about resources needed to be united from many scattered databases Consumers and their families needed access to resource information if they were going to exercise choice Helping professionals, policy makers and funders also needed access to these resources The community needed an integrated information resource that accurately reflected the state of community resources and services This resource needed to be comprehensive but user friendly and available to all residents of Allegheny County in real time
  • 6. The Community Responds… 15 local foundations form the Human Services Integration Fund to support data integration activities Rhiza Labs led representatives of the broader community in structured design sessions. Participants included: • Providers • Advocacy Organizations • Academic Community • Funding Community • Government Agencies
  • 7. Uniting community data from multiple sources
  • 8. Import data from any format to Info Commons
  • 9. Data flows to any application
  • 10. Community manages its own data, changes flow to all
  • 11. Information Commons in other communities Problem: • Nine call centers throughout state • Used nine different IRis (Foxpro) installs • No easy way to synchronize data • Wanted to integrate data from other New Jersey 211 agencies in NJ Information Commons Solution: • All call centers have exact same data • Distributed editing/updates supported • Much easier integration w/other agencies
  • 12. Demonstration http://www.humanservices.net http://www.uwac.org http://nj211.maya.com http://databasin.org
  • 13. Issues to consider in your community 4 Key Areas to Address: • Governance -- local buy-in is critical • Funders -- foundation community can be a catalyst • Political Issues -- meeting everyone’s needs • Technical Issues -- flexible, open platform required
  • 14. Issues to consider in your community Governance: • Local buy-in is critical • Grassroots initiatives are more successful • Start small - don’t try to broker super-agreements • Involve community based organizations from the beginning
  • 15. Issues to consider in your community Funders: • Foundation community derives benefits from data sharing • Better access to data helps foundations make more informed funding decisions • Effective I&R helps agencies serve more people in need • Can be catalysts for participation by requiring data sharing as contingency for funding • If data is useful beyond I&R purposes, more opportunities available for funding
  • 16. Issues to consider in your community Political Issues: • Organizations want to control their own data • Credit where credit is due is important • Organizations want to control how data is presented (e.g. taxonomies, website layout, search methodology) • AIRS compliance important to some, but not all • Bottom line: flexibility is essential
  • 17. Issues to consider in your community Technical Issues: • Flexible, open platform is needed • Distributed data management key • Ability to support multiple taxonomies very important • APIs give organizations freedom to integrate community data into their own systems and websites
  • 18. Results across the community Career Development for Youth
  • 19. Benefits of the Information Commons Approach A way to unify community information • Innovative database platform • Mission critical information and referral asset A better understanding of the forces affecting our children, families and neighborhoods A data-driven foundation for planning and analysis • Get the “right information to the right people at the right time” • Best return on our community investments
  • 20. For more information: John Pierce, PhD., JD, Deputy Director, Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services (412) 350-5860 john.pierce@dhs.county.allegheny.pa.us www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs Josh Knauer CEO, Rhiza Labs (412) 488-2900 knauer@rhizalabs.com www.rhizalabs.com