CDC's open gov success during Ebola outbreak
- By Mark Pomerleau
- Mar 20, 2015
During the height of the Ebola crisis in late 2014, the National Institutes of Health was pressed to keep the public abreast of developments and curb concerns over the outbreak. To meet the demands, HHS partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to build a microsite to syndicate information regarding CDC’s response and protocol pertaining to their handling of the infected.
By maintaining one source of information, the syndication widget enabled a unified response from government agencies, while providing automatic updates to user websites. The microsite was recently acknowledged a FOIA success by the Department of Justice, which hailed its ability to provide the public with up-to-date, substantial, high-quality information about Ebola and for encouraging greater collaboration among health agencies.
HHS also spearheaded the Content Services project, which created an easy way for public health organizations to incorporate content, images, video, data and infographics into other digital media.
It provides information from the Health and Human Services Syndication Storefront, the CDC Public Health Media Library, the Food and Drug Administration’s Content Syndication Home and NIH Content Syndication.
According to Digitalgov, the benefits of content syndication are clear. It reduces overhead for government agencies by reusing data already available and enables streamlining of content channels; it also improves audience retention with additional content and is available 24/7. And it works to further the Open Government Initiative, offers transparency and encourages participation and collaboration.
Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.