PD Case study

No simple shot can make sure policymakers talk to one another.

Two-thirds of the world's deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In various pockets and communities around the globe, policies are having an impact, for better or for worse. But lessons from both the successes and the failures frequently get lost in the everyday business of health policy, as policy professionals move on to the next great need.

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Creating The Policy Depot.

The Policy Depot is a social network developed for the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. The National Forum is a membership organization that leads and encourages action among stakeholders committed to heart disease and stroke prevention. One of the National Forum's key roles is to bring together those who work in this field to share knowledge and work together toward common goals.

Social networks don't have to be just social.

Peer-to-peer discussions about non-communicable diseases, powered by technology.

Non-communicable disease is a global concern, requiring global solutions. But it can be hard to get people on opposite sides of the world talking to one another. The National Forum came to Pantheon with an idea to build a global hub for cardiovascular health policy. The resulting "Policy Depot" took that idea one step further: an innovative social network created specifically for professionals throughout the world who work on non-communicable disease policies. Academics, lawmakers, and practitioners can hop online to trade ideas, debate policies, and seek assistance when they need it.

  • Technologies Used
  • WordPress
  • BuddyPress
  • Custom profile matching algorithm
  • Twitter API
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Partnered with Pantheon to build a community.

"Pantheon really helped us structure the way we think about the tool itself on the Web. We had a conceptual idea and they helped bring it to reality. It drove us to get things done faster and on time. They pushed us to think about things differently and create a better project."

— Keith MasonFormer Executive Director of
the National Forum

The Policy Depot provides policy stakeholders the ability to share and advance policies that have worked for them and to offer ideas and guidance on how to adapt policies in other areas. One of its distinctive features is a unique profiling system Pantheon built that uses the responses to a series of questions to create an individual biography for each user. Using this profile, the Policy Depot connects like-minded people with one another to facilitate conversation. Because the policy arena is so broad, this matchmaking process makes it easier for people to connect on their specific interests.

The National Forum initially planned to use an existing set of policy data and information, but Pantheon's analysis resulted in the idea of crowd sourcing. The Policy Depot allows users, not the National Forum, to provide the core data and information. It also includes a function that integrates Twitter conversations taking place at conferences around the world into the Policy Depot to capture the conversation and foster further discussion.

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