Local Digital
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Local Digital

Sprint Notes #50

Covering 23 June to 6 July 2022

Welcome back to our Sprint Notes! In this issue, we share some of the council stories we’ve heard as part of our Digital Declaration Month celebrations so far, plus news and updates from our funded project teams.

News from the team

Digital Declaration Month is live!

On Monday 4 July, we kicked off Digital Declaration Month to celebrate four years of the Local Digital Declaration and the impact it has had on the Local Digital community.

It’s been fantastic hearing from so many councils about their digital achievements since signing the Declaration, including:

A tweet about the fourth anniversary from the Low Code Waste Services funded project.
A tweet about the fourth anniversary from iStandUK.
A tweet about the Local Digital Declaration from Digital Stockport (Stockport Council).
A tweet about the fourth anniversary from Digital Dorset (Dorset Council).
A tweet about the fourth anniversary from Newark and Sherwood District Council.

We will be celebrating throughout July, so there’s still plenty of time to share your story with us — download the campaign pack for more information and ideas.

We hosted our virtual South East roadshow

On Wednesday 6 July, the Local Digital team hosted a virtual roadshow for councils in the South East and East of England. We were joined by 32 individuals from 20 different councils for presentations from Lawrence Hopper, DLUHC Deputy Director of Digital, and Mark Brennan (Camden Council) of the Data Exchange with the VCS funded project, who gave a talk called ‘Exploring data products and practices to support a new strategic mission’.

We then split into smaller groups for the workshop part of the event, which examined common challenges with cyber and digital within councils, before regrouping for a wider discussion.

The South East Roadshow was due to take place in London but was postponed due to the rail strikes, and the team worked tirelessly to transform it into a successful virtual event, so thank you to everyone who joined us!

There are still a few days remaining to register for our final roadshow of 2022, which will take place in Leeds on Thursday 14 July.

The workshop part of the Local Digital South East Roadshow, which was held virtually.
A tweet from Local Digital about the South East Roadshow.

Join Local Digital at the Annual Northern WARP Conference

Three members of the Local Digital team are gearing up to take part in the second Annual Northern WARP Conference on Friday 15 July, with the theme ‘Security in an Evolving World’.

At 10am, Ben (Head of Cyber) and Paul (Delivery Manager) will be hosting a session on ‘What next for Local Digital?’, sharing an update on our ambitious plans for working with the local government sector.

At 2pm, Phil (Community Engagement Manager) is taking part in a session on ‘Veterans from the Cyber Front line’. Hear directly from cyber veterans who have fought on the frontline against a major cyber-attack on their organisation, including Redcar & Cleveland Council, Copeland Council and Bradford City Council, followed by the opportunity to ask your questions.

This event is free to attend for all local public sector organisations that are a member of a UK regional WARP. Find out more and register for the conference.

News from our funded projects

Don’t forget you can find information on all of our funded projects, including those mentioned below, on our website.

Family Context (Stockport Council)

The project has a number of highlights to share from the last sprint, including:

  • the SharePoint site is now up and running, and this has been shared with relevant agencies
  • all but one locality team have now been set up and trained on using the Family Context tool
  • Matt (User Researcher) has devised an evaluation plan and questionnaires for social workers to complete, and the four responses they have received so far are already providing a new perspective

Housing Repairs (City of Lincoln Council)

On Tuesday 5 July, the project team presented a Show and Share session for the third sprint of their public beta. To watch a recording of this session and follow the project’s progress, visit the project blog.

LocalGov Drupal (Cumbria County Council)

On Tuesday 5 July, the project team presented a seminar at Amazon HQ on ‘How your council can save time and money with LocalGov Drupal’, which was attended by representatives from 23 councils.

The team has published Sprint 4 Notes on their microsites work and user testing of the early prototype, which is now complete. The focus of the sprint was to test the architecture and user experience of creating new microsites, assigning users, configuring the look and feel, and adding content to a page.

LocalGov Drupal has also been featured in a Crown Commercial Services case study, and now counts 29 councils and seven suppliers among its growing community.

LocalGov Drupal presenting at Amazon HQ in London.

Offline Data Input Tool for Field Workers (Birmingham City Council)

This sprint the team has been conducting user testing of the Birmingham Guardian app with field workers, which will continue throughout July and into August. While out testing with neighbourhood caretakers, James Gregory (Head of Delivery at Birmingham City Council) tweeted:

A tweet from James Gregory of the Offline Data Input for Field Workers project.

Meanwhile Tom Lowndes, Local Digital Collaboration Manager, is planning to travel to Birmingham to do some training with the caretakers soon.

Quality Children’s Data (Wigan Council)

The team held a session to work through the key outcomes that they want to achieve through the next phase of work. The next phase will focus on working with data analysts in Children’s Services to re-work the data quality tool — created as part of their previous funding, which focused on improving data quality for the 903 return — so that it can be used for Children In Need Census data. The next steps are for a smaller group to refine the detail of these objectives and to bring them back to the team to work up into an action plan to deliver against.

Revs and Bens (Teignbridge Council)

The Rev and Bens Open Source Alpha project is now complete! This project is an important step forward in delivering more choice for local authorities in the Revenue and Benefits software market. The team would like to invite you to their final Show and Tell on Monday 11 July at 2pm to tell you about:

  • their experiences of converting data from one of the three major software suppliers in the market to give proof of concept on data migration
  • potential governance arrangements for any new software deployed
  • what their users and practitioners tell them they want from the system
  • the new Sedgemoor software in action

They also want your feedback to ensure they are focusing on the right priorities and that their work continues to meet the needs and aspirations of Revenue and Benefits services across the country. Contact the project if you would like to attend the final Show and Tell.

Scalable Approach to Vulnerability Via Interoperability (SAVVI) (Tameside and Sedgemoor Councils)

The project recently appointed three new team members for Phase Three: a SAVVI Coach, Tech Support and Information Governance (IG) Support. In this phase, they aim to deploy SAVVI for real and make it self-sustaining. Read more about the Phase Three team in this blog post.

The project would also like to introduce the SAVVI Engagement Service, which is how they work with partner projects to tackle vulnerability. With Phase Three of the project underway, the team are delighted to be working with three partner projects as they deploy the SAVVI Playbook. The engagement team will help those projects to on-board SAVVI and test out the new SAVVI Engagement Service. They will use the learnings to scale up how they engage with other projects who want to use the SAVVI Playbook to tackle vulnerability and hardship. Find out more about the Engagement Service in this blog post.

The SAVVI team were also invited to participate in the Local Digital roadshows in the South West and North West. They have blogged about their experience at the events, which includes an overview of the presentations given by Shelley Heckman and Paul Davidson.

That’s it for this sprint, thanks for reading! For the daily download on all things #LocalDigital, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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Local Digital

Local Digital

The Local Digital team is part of the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Read more about our work: https://www.localdigital.gov.uk.