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Tapping the 211 Information Goldmine (2007)

Posted on:
April 19, 2024

This study was commissioned by Ontario 211 to identify possibilities, challenges and next steps for using information collected by 211 organizations to support and enhance human services planning and management in Ontario.

This study targeted those responsible for implementing Ontario 211 systems, including current or planned province-wide and local 211 initiatives. It also is intended to be helpful to the broader human services public, non-profit and private sector, all of which have a deep stake in ensuring that 211 data is effectively utilized to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery and enhance the lives of all Ontarians.

Human services organizations – whether government, non-profit or private – are increasingly expected to demonstrate accountability to their constituencies regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of their services.

In the course of their normal operations, 211 organizations collect voluminous1, varied and unique data which could help human service managers and planners to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. Over the past few years there has been some discussion of these matters in the broader 211 community.2 Examples of using 211 data for broader human services planning are emerging in Toronto and elsewhere. However, these initiatives have only scratched the surface of what is possible. The anticipated growth of 211 users and services will make available even further such information in the future.

The report provides a vision for how 211 can support human services planning and management, key benefits and target groups, proposes guiding principles, sets out key elements of an implementation strategy, identifies future challenges and opportunities, and sets out recommended next steps.

Summary

This study was commissioned by Ontario 211 to identify possibilities, challenges and next steps for using information collected by 211 organizations to support and enhance human services planning and management in Ontario.
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