Sprint Notes #63

Local Digital
Local Digital
Published in
6 min readMay 23

26 April to 16 May

Welcome to Sprint Notes #63! Our Round 6 projects are starting to get into their stride, and in this issue you can find out what they’ve been working on this sprint. You can also read an update on our Local Digital Declaration discovery project and our plans to better understand the digital and cyber security challenges that councils are facing.

News from Local Digital

We’re measuring the impact of the Local Digital programme

We want to better understand the challenges councils are facing in terms of digital and cyber security, and measure the impact of the Local Digital programme so far. To do this, we’ve commissioned independent evaluation of the programme to make sure it’s as effective as possible.

Through the study, we hope to work with councils to gather feedback on their digital and cyber position, the obstacles faced and what delivers the best outcomes for local government.

The evaluation study will be delivered by a consortium of PUBLIC, Daintta and the Society of Innovation, Technology and Modernisation (Socitm), working closely with the Local Digital team, between May 2023 and May 2025.

Over the coming weeks and months, councils may be invited by our evaluation team to take part in surveys, interviews and workshops. Find out more about the evaluation study on our website.

An update on the Local Digital Declaration discovery project

We’re now into the third sprint of our discovery project with TPXimpact to explore what’s next for the Local Digital Declaration.

So far, the project team has:

  • analysed submissions from signatories to understand the motivations behind signing the Declaration, and how this has changed over time
  • spoken to internal stakeholders and collected data on the behind the scenes process that goes into signing the declaration
  • conducted user interviews with local authorities and partners to check our assumptions and fill the gaps in knowledge on our experience map

Some of the things that we’ve heard through our research include:

  • The Declaration principles are seen to provide a solid foundation that has aided in the formation of digital strategies at both county and district levels
  • There are many motivations for signing up, but there are barriers to gaining velocity and maintaining momentum
  • Change makers are not sure how to meet their commitments without funding
  • Organisations with lower levels of digital maturity at the outset can find it more difficult to deliver on their Declaration commitments
  • For signatories, delivering on their Declaration commitments is about cultural change within their organisation as much as technology change

We’re now working on synthesising all our data and formalising the insights we’ve gathered so far.

We plan to use the findings from this discovery to help shape our work into the direction of the Local Digital programme as a whole and what it needs to deliver for the sector.

If you’d like to hear more about the discovery and what we’ve learnt, you can register for our Digital Leaders Week talk on Tuesday 20 June at 10am.

A simplified version of our Local Digital Declaration discovery roadmap, showing that we’re coming to the end of the first phase (understanding the problem) and moving into the next phase (generating ideas). The final phase is developing recommendations.

News from our Round 6 funded projects

Following the welcome event in London last month, our newly funded projects have been busy attending project clinics with the Local Digital Fund team, as well as formulating their project teams and starting to think about procurement.

A video recap from the Round 6 in-person event in London.

Sharing data to safeguard missing vulnerable adults (Greater Manchester Combined Authority)

The team held a kick off meeting with stakeholders, followed by a mapping session to establish the full scope of stakeholders and their level of involvement in the project.

They’ve also been working on drafting the procurement framework for suppliers, which they plan to submit next sprint, and attending internal procurement meetings.

Better value technology for housing services (London Borough of Hackney)

The team has been focused on procuring a delivery partner, and have almost completed the initial procurement.

They also met with TPXimpact and Redbridge Council to discuss their work on the housing technology discovery and to start sharing knowledge.

Next sprint, they hope to be able to start the shortlisting process with the other local authorities involved, so that they can start work on the discovery.

Exploring barriers to online engagement with council services (South Ribble Borough Council)

The team met to discuss their requirements from a user researcher. They’ve agreed to spend the next sprint engaging with some local user research companies to discuss how they might approach the project, in order to put a specification together and complete procurement.

Investigating a digital support hub for carers (London Borough of Southwark)

The team attended a clinic with Local Digital, which they found very useful, and during which they shared some high-level project milestones.

A project meeting is planned for Wednesday 24 May to agree on roles and responsibilities, and the team is also reviewing procurement options for a discovery partner.

Improving housing advice services to prevent homelessness (London Borough of Newham)

The team has created a Microsoft Teams site where they can collaborate with external project team members, and have scheduled a meeting to agree on roles and responsibilities. The final draft of requirements and specifications has been published on the CCS Contract Award Service.

Digitising bulk waste collections (North Tyneside)

The project team made good use of their clinic with Local Digital, during which Local Digital helped the team to refine their focus and offered advice on how to attract the best candidates for their user researcher position. Alongside this, they are continuing to pull together the wider project team.

User journeys into adult social care (London Borough of Redbridge)

Team members from the partner councils met to establish roles and responsibilities for the discovery. They also looked at building user groups and working groups made up of Adult Social Care subject experts from across the partner councils.

The team is working on a procurement brief to get support for their research into Adult Social Care and early interventions, which they plan to finalise and publish on Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) this sprint. They’ve also been working on internal communications to support and gain engagement and reach around the project, so that all staff are aware and feel involved in the process.

Next sprint, they will book in sessions with stakeholders and user groups to explain the purpose of the discovery, and set a timetable for updates to all partners and project governance.

A snapshot of what we got up during the Round 6 welcome events.

Continuous funding model (CFM) projects

Greenwich Community Directory (Royal Borough of Greenwich)

The Greenwich project team have confirmed some of the component designs — such as the footer, which has been built using LocalGov Drupal. They are now starting to think about the Children & Families and Local Offer sections.

The team also held an Outpost community meet-up, which was attended by colleagues from 7 public sector organisations. The group talked about the upcoming developments to Scout and Outpost and how they will prioritise that in the future, as well as how to work more openly, and how to solve the problem of keeping information on directories up to date.

Have your say on our Sprint Notes

We want to hear your feedback on our Sprint Notes publication so we can continue to improve our communications. Share your thoughts on how often you read it, the amount of content and what you like reading about. Provide your feedback via this short form or by emailing campaigns@localdigital.gov.uk.

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



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.