HPAB Social Media Request for Information


The Health Professional Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission desires information about how data from social media might be used to help characterize individuals’ and populations’ relationships with nearby lakes and streams; how they perceive changes in these dynamic water systems; and how such changes affect their health and sense of well-being.

Depending on the findings from this RFI, the IJC may attempt to procure services in the future.  All procurements will be subject to government purchasing regulations. Responses to the RFI may provide concepts used to shape the requirements for a subsequent RFP, however RFI submissions will not contribute directly to procurement decisions. 

We request information from any of the following:

  • Marketing companies or consultants that aggregate and analyze identified data derived from social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, online communities (e.g. Google groups), mobile apps, internet interview panels or other forms of contributed internet data and/or companies that aggregate de-identified web browsing, internet shopping, mobile position and similar data.
  • University or non-profit researchers who make similar use of such data.
  • Developers of methods for displaying and analyzing such data.

We invite responses that describe methods (available or under-development) for providing information on ANY of the following questions.   While our focus is on territory in the basins of the Great Lakes, Minnesota/Ontario boundary waters, and other waterways transecting or connecting the US-Canada border, we welcome methods and observations derived from any other waterways as well.  Responses may reflect either individuals or defined populations.  We welcome information on methods and data supplies to characterize any or all of the following:

  • The degree of interaction with the waterways for commerce, recreation or day-to-day living.
  • Observations about environmental changes in these waterways (for example, pollution, warming, algal blooms, changes in wildlife).
  • Changes to perceived drinkability, suitability for fishing for human consumption, or recreational use of these waterways.
  • Perceptions or emotive relationships with these waterways (for example, "Lake Erie as a brand").
  • Perceived health effects (physical and mental) related to these waterways.
  • How the above information might vary by age, gender, racial and ethnic group, income or wealth, and other useful demographic variables or indices
  • How the above information could be compared with control populations with less proximity or use of these waterways.
  • How the above information might be used in concert or comparison with public statistics and surveys (typically referring to government subunits) and marketing research data
  • Methods for analysis and visualization of the data provided
  • Description of which methods are publicly available and which rely on private intellectual property

We also encourage submitters to demonstrate the use of these methods, if possible, to compare the periods of July 2014 to August 2014 in the counties and watersheds bordering Western Lake Erie (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Erie_Basin).

All RFI-related questions and formal responses should be sent to Jennifer Boehme of the Health Professionals Advisory Board in PDF format.