Four organizations are to set up a data interoperability project which they hope will mean more money going where it will do most good. The BRIDGE (Basic Registry of Uniquely Identified Global Entities) Project, a collaboration of TechSoup Global, the Foundation Center, GuideStar and GlobalGiving, will set up a registry of NGOs with unique identifiers.
This will mean that specific organizations can be readily identified with data collected about them and this data can be equally readily used and understood by other organizations – donors, official aid agencies, NGOs – who use the system. Imagine going on holiday to another country and finding they use the same money and speak the same language – you know what everything costs and how to ask for it.
At the end of BRIDGE’s year-long development phase, the founding organizations aim to have created a universal ID standard, at least across their own systems, and to have fully integrated it into their own business processes. The universal ID will consist of a 64-bit integer comprising the minimal data elements needed to distinguish the entity from all others: name, address, URL and contact information. It will be what the founders describe as a unique ‘dumb’ number that makes data interoperability possible.
This, suggest the founders, is a vital precondition to strengthening collaboration within the philanthropic ecosystem. It will make it easier for donors to identify reliable organizations working in their areas of interest and to share due diligence. For the organizations, it will make it easier to establish their eligibility for grants and to maintain and share information about themselves. As John Hecklinger of GlobalGiving points out, it can potentially put more sources of information at the service of the wider philanthropic and aid community.
For more information
Contact John Hecklinger at GlobalGiving Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org