Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


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Published in the Proceedings of the 5th International ISCRAM Conference, Washington, DC, USA (May 2008): 352-361. F. Fiedrich and B. Van de Walle, editors. Copyright 2008, ISCRAM. Used by permission.


Interorganizational coordination is crucial among human services providers responsible for responding to both personal and widespread crises. Too often, however, agencies providing disaster relief, shelter, and connection to other social service systems operate in information silos. Moreover, organizations that assist the same people may be duplicating services or ineffectively providing services to those in need. In the past, there has been no easy way for human service organizations to share information about clients, resources, and services. Over the last decade, distinct initiatives have begun to standardize data collection, storage, and transmission standards within human service domains. This paper describes several human services standards currently in use or under development in the United States and discusses how each support distinct, yet related, human service information management during disasters. The paper concludes with a call for the development of an overarching human services data interoperability standard.

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