A centralized data management system encourages ongoing monitoring of client outcomes and facilitates the development and use of shared performance standards among service providers. It also brings clarity to the number of people experiencing homelessness and interacting with the homelessness system, and helps researchers, service providers and policy makers understand the various factors shaping the incidence of homelessness in particular communities.
Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS) is a centralized data management system used by organizations in the city of Calgary in Alberta.
The National Homelessness Information System (NHIS) is a federal data monitoring initiative. The Homeless Individual and Families Information System (HIFIS) is the data management system associated with this initiative. HIFIS allows communities to collect and track information about the people accessing homelessness sector resources. Data collected using HIFIS is shared with the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). This data-sharing relationship is coordinated through a Data Provision Agreement (DPA) that all HIFIS users sign. When individual agencies export their data to HPS, it gets included in the NHIS. Service providing agencies that use other data management software also export their data to the NHIS. The data collected by the NHIS is used to inform research and make federal policy decisions.