The Human Services Data Specification - a data exchange format developed by the Open Referral Initiative
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Human Services Data Specification
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Open Referral

Human Services Data Specification defines a minimal set of data for publishing machine-readable directory information about health, human, and social services; their locations and accessibility details; and the organizations that provide them. Read the spec here.

A detailed FAQ about the project is found here, and additional information about the Open Referral Initiative is available at


The Human Services Data Specification and its documentation are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license.

We encourage you to use an open license for any data you publish using the specification.

Earlier versions were licensed under CC0.

Building the documentation


Any change pushed to the master branch on GitHub will be built and pushed to automatically by readthedocs. Build info is found at

Other branches are not built automatically, but can be configured by admin's of the 'openreferral' project on readthedocs, on this page -

Building locally

Assuming a unix based system with Python 3 installed:

python3 -m venv .ve    
source .ve/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
cd docs
make dirhtml


Translations wil be done using this transifex project -

How to push new text up to Transifex: First, do a local build, then:

cd docs
make gettext
sphinx-intl update-txconfig-resources --transifex-project-name open-referral-1-0

Then follow the rest of the instructions at