“Health, human and social services” are a set of programs offered by nonprofits and governments intended to improve an individual or family’s well-being. These services are often described as the “social safety-net”.

There is are no canonical list of these services in the United States because there is no widely used open data standard to document these services. That’s why Sarapis has supported Open Referral since its inception in 2011 to establish its Human Services Data Standard (HSDS) and its Human Services Data API as foundational open standards enabling social service providers, referral networks, governments and other stakeholders to efficiently build software applications that can manage, display and exchange social service data.

Sarapis believes that one of the biggest opportunities to improve the situation is by applying open source software and open data approaches to the “discover-ability” problem.

To advance this cause, Sarapis developed the HSDS Validator, a simple, open source application that helps users determine whether their data is formatted following the HSDS standard.

Users can either upload individual CSVs or a zip file multiple ones. The validator will test each file and return one of four results:

  • “Valid” means that the table contains all HSDS specified fields and no others
  • “Valid with additions” means that the table contains all HSDS fields as well as additional fields.
  • “Invalid” means the table does not contain all HSDS fields.
  • “Null” means no data was entered for that HSDS data table.

You can find the HSDS Validator at hsdsvalidator.sarapis.org, its source code on Github and more info on its project page.

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