The way local (and central) government is structured means that public sector organisations usually end up working in silos to create solutions to meet their own needs. We see it time and again. The Local Digital Declaration (and its 150 signatories to date) and the Local Digital Fund have been a positive first step in trying to bridge the gap for local authorities and encourage more collaboration to deliver better services.
So, what next?
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has now partnered up with us at dxw digital to find out more about how local authorities are collaborating and how they find out about each other’s work. It wants to reinforce the aims of the declaration and the fund because although there’s been progress, we’ve only really scratched the surface so far.
At dxw digital, we’ve recently worked with Croydon Council to help develop their digital team, North Lincolnshire Council to assess their digital maturity and with the London Borough of Hackney to improve their housing services. We're always really conscious of the extra benefit to the public sector, and to everyone who uses and pays for it, if the ideas and tools we’ve been working on could be shared and organisations could partner to deliver common things.
How you can get involved
With the help of techUK, we’re now hoping to talk to you. As part of the work we're delivering with MHCLG, we want to hear from people who are responsible for leading and improving service delivery in local government. Hopefully, that’s you, or one of your colleagues. In particular, we want to know where collaboration is happening now, what works and what doesn’t.
We’re just starting this work and talking to you will help us identify how re-use, sharing and collaboration amongst local authorities can be made easier and more effective. The harsh reality remains that organisation governance and contractual arrangements often block the best intentions. On the latter, one of MHCLG’s aims for this work is to improve supplier choice.
If you have the authority to create or change services, and would be willing to take part in a 90 minute user research session, please complete this short online form with your details, and one of the joint MHCLG/dxw team will contact you.
Author: Poss Apostolou Twitter: @i_am_poss