The Rural Ontario Institute and Ontario 211 Services recently collaborated to create an on-line platform for data visualisation of 211 call record data. The interest was in the “Rural Unmet Needs” 211 records and organizing the data appropriately which allowed both organizations to support a shared exploration of the utility of the information for human services planning in the province and at the local/regional level. We included regional non-profit agencies like United Ways, as well local government and health service planners in the review of the data. We also applied the relatively new remoteness index as well as categories of census sub-divisions by rurality to the data.
The report from the initiative is available at www.ruralontarioinstitute.ca/knowledge-centre/reports and https://211ontario.ca/about-211-ontario/news/rural-ontario-institute-and-ontario-211-services-release-report-on-needs-and-unmet-needs-in-rural-communities and makes some recommendations about ongoing accessibility and interpretation limitations. A strong case needs to be made that this data is best used in conjunction with other information - both local knowledge of services and with other socio-economic data layers.