Increasing Interoperability of Data for Social Good [$100K]

Increasing Interoperability of Data for Social Good

March 4, 2013 through May 7, 2013 11:30 AM PST

Each Winner to Receive $100,000 Grant

Got your attention? Good!

From the notice:

The social sector is full of passion, intuition, deep experience, and unwavering commitment. Increasingly, social change agents from funders to activists, are adding data and information as yet one more tool for decision-making and increasing impact.

But data sets are often isolated, fragmented and hard to use. Many organizations manage data with multiple systems, often due to various requirements from government agencies and private funders. The lack of interoperability between systems leads to wasted time and frustration. Even those who are motivated to use data end up spending more time and effort on gathering, combining, and analyzing data, and less time on applying it to ongoing learning, performance improvement, and smarter decision-making.

It is the combining, linking, and connecting of different “data islands” that turns data into knowledge – knowledge that can ultimately help create positive change in our world. Interoperability is the key to making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with Liquidnet for Good, is looking for groundbreaking ideas to address this significant, but solvable, problem. See the website for more detail on the challenge and application instructions. Each challenge winner will receive a grant of $100,000.

From the details website:

Through this challenge, we’re looking for game-changing ideas we might never imagine on our own and that could revolutionize the field. In particular, we are looking for ideas that might provide new and innovative ways to address the following:

  • Improving the availability and use of program impact data by bringing together data from multiple organizations operating in the same field and geographical area;
  • Enabling combinations of data through application programming interface (APIs), taxonomy crosswalks, classification systems, middleware, natural language processing, and/or data sharing agreements;
  • Reducing inefficiency for users entering similar information into multiple systems through common web forms, profiles, apps, interfaces, etc.;
  • Creating new value for users trying to pull data from multiple sources;
  • Providing new ways to access and understand more than one data set, for example, through new data visualizations, including mashing up government and other data;
  • Identifying needs and barriers by experimenting with increased interoperability of multiple data sets;
  • Providing ways for people to access information that isn’t normally accessible (for using natural language processing to pull and process stories from numerous sources) and combing that information with open data sets.

Successful Proposals Will Include:

  • Identification of specific data sets to be used;
  • Clear, compelling explanation of how the solution increases interoperability;
  • Use case;
  • Description of partnership or collaboration, where applicable;
  • Overview of how solution can be scaled and/or adapted, if it is not already cross-sector in nature;
  • Explanation of why the organization or group submitting the proposal has the capacity to achieve success;
  • A general approach to ongoing sustainability of the effort.

I could not have written a more topic map oriented challenge. You?

They suggest the usual social data sites:

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