How EvoXLabs is helping open up the city's HIV data - Generocity Philly

Purpose

Aug. 24, 2016 2:22 pm

How EvoXLabs is helping open up the city’s HIV data

The city's Office of HIV Planning keeps data in a 400-page PDF document. EvoXLabs is helping make it accessible for civic hackers.

An EvoXLabs hackathon.

(Photo by Tony Abraham)

Philadelphia’s Office of HIV Planning (OHP) is getting yet another data assist from a local civic-minded nonprofit.

Every year, the office produces a 400-page tome of a PDF document brimming with regional HIV/AIDs data — demographics, statistics, how existing services are being used and so forth — used primarily for grantwriting purposes by local organizations.

Here’s the problem with that: The PDF format is the furthest thing from being user-friendly.

Two years ago, the document was mined by a number of Girl Develop It Philly fellows and Code for Philly hackers. This year, the PDF file is in the hands of paid interns at accessibility nonprofit EvoXLabs.

“It’s all data that the Office of HIV Planning has collected since 2008,” said EvoXLabs founder Ather Sharif.

After meeting with OHP health planner and website coordinator Briana Morgan a few months back, Sharif and his interns (many of whom work remotely from across the country) began work on the project — but not before receiving a grant to pay interns from Access Computing at the University of Washington.

It’s the first project of its kind for EvoXLabs. The organization has primarily hosted accessibility hackathons and conferences. Now, project-based initiatives will be a third feature for the nonprofit, said Sharif, in an effort to make a more tangible social impact.

Ather Sharif. (Photo by Marcus McCarthy)

Ather Sharif. (Photo by Marcus McCarthy)

“We don’t necessarily want to develop a project. We want to make a social impact,” said the founder and Comcast technologist. “We have no deadlines and no other purpose than to create a social impact and while doing so, also contribute to the technical field in Philadelphia. These are both equally prioritized.”

From our Partners

The OHP project is close to being finished, said Sharif. The next gig could be a project for the Ministry of Human Rights in Pakistan — where the accessibility advocate was born and raised.

“We want to envision access in a different way,” said Sharif. “When people talk about access, they talk about it in two ways: Information accessible to people and people with disabilities.”

EvoXLabs wants to envelope both under a single umbrella. The nonprofit’s new project-based arm, said Sharif, will allow them to do that.

Want more richly researched and deeply sourced community reporting?  Become a Generocity member for $10 per month -30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

Open letter to city council candidates: City and nonprofits have nuanced partnership

These are the questions you should be asking about your nonprofit’s management

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Nonprofits and startups can win up to $360K at the WeWork Creator Awards

321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

National Liberty Museum

Administrative Assistant

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Career Wardrobe

Program Director

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Maternity Care Coalition

Case Manager Healthy Families of America Program

Apply Now

Show us our history

So, you got the job interview. Here’s how to impress your potential future boss

The City of Philadelphia wants to help its frontline workers better deal with trauma

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

12 Philly immigrants who are ready to mobilize

Philadelphia, PA

Next City

Development Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

Program Manager

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity