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Digital Inclusion Self Assessment Tool

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					Digital Inclusion Beacon Checklist




     Checklist Reference Guide




                                     21 April 2009
Contents
Background ............................................................................................................... 4
   Introduction ............................................................................................................ 4
   Checklist Tool ........................................................................................................ 5
      Overview of Tool ................................................................................................ 5
      Use of the Tool ................................................................................................... 8
      Who Should Use the Tool?................................................................................. 9
   Reference Guide ................................................................................................... 9

Leadership, Vision and Strategy .............................................................................. 10
   Steering and Championing .................................................................................. 11
      Champion......................................................................................................... 11
      Strategy............................................................................................................ 13
      Cross-Cutting Support ...................................................................................... 15
   Embedding Digital Inclusion ................................................................................. 17
      Mainstreamed Action Plans .............................................................................. 18
      Systemic Planning ............................................................................................ 20
      Social Exclusion Impact Assessment ............................................................... 22
      Performance Management ............................................................................... 24
   Future Proofing .................................................................................................... 26
      Horizon Scanning ............................................................................................. 26
      Sustainability .................................................................................................... 28

Enabling Actions ..................................................................................................... 30
   Local Knowledge and Insight ............................................................................... 31
      Community Mapping and Resident Insight ....................................................... 31
      Rural Proofing .................................................................................................. 33
   Managing Organisational Change........................................................................ 35
      Cross-Discipline Approach ............................................................................... 36
      Innovation Environment.................................................................................... 38
      Change Management Processes ..................................................................... 40

Community Engagement and Empowerment .......................................................... 42
   User Centred Approach ....................................................................................... 43
      Citizen and Community Involvement ................................................................ 43
      Customer Centred Design ................................................................................ 45
      Inclusive Channel Strategies ............................................................................ 47
   Community, Skills and Capacity........................................................................... 50
      Individuals ICT Skills and Support .................................................................... 51
      Third Sector and Community Capacity Building ................................................ 53

Essential Partnerships............................................................................................. 55
   Public Sector ....................................................................................................... 56
      Local Authorities............................................................................................... 56
      Social Housing Sector ...................................................................................... 58
      Wider Public Sector .......................................................................................... 60
   Third Sector ......................................................................................................... 62
      Third Sector Service Providers ......................................................................... 62
   Private Sector ...................................................................................................... 64
      Private Sector Service Providers ...................................................................... 64

Effective Partnerships ............................................................................................. 67
   Partnership Foundations ...................................................................................... 68
      Shared Objectives and Priorities ...................................................................... 68
      Smart Commissioning ...................................................................................... 70
   Data Sharing........................................................................................................ 72
      Non-Personal Data Sharing.............................................................................. 72
      Personal Data Sharing ..................................................................................... 74
   Knowledge and Good Practice Sharing ............................................................... 76
      Shared Learning............................................................................................... 76

Evidenced Outcomes .............................................................................................. 78
   Innovative Action ................................................................................................. 78
      Clear and Visible Activity .................................................................................. 78
   Improve Lives and Life Chances .......................................................................... 80
      Clear and Evidenced Social Impact .................................................................. 80

Key Terms and Phrases Explained ......................................................................... 83
Background

Introduction

Digital Inclusion is the use of technology, either directly or indirectly, to improve the
lives and life chances of disadvantaged people and the places in which they live. It is
a term used to describe local policies and actions designed to encourage the socially
inclusive use of technology and to mitigate the risks that socially disadvantaged
people and communities fall behind as mainstream society increasingly uses new
technologies in every day life. The government has established a Minister for Digital
Inclusion – Paul Murphy the Secretary of State for Wales. There is a cabinet
committee for digital inclusion and a new national champion supported by a task
force. A national action plan was launched in October 20091. Digital inclusion is an
important policy area for local government to consider within the context of local
community strategies and plans. In 2009 the beacon local authorities for Digital
Inclusion were announced.


This ‘beacon checklist’, presented in this document is derived from the 2009 digital
inclusion beacon award process. The evaluation process that was used to assess
bids has been developed into a checklist of areas to consider for action in relation to
the socially inclusive use of technology. This checklist has been further refined
through the beacon evaluation process, and enhanced by examples of good practice
from beacon and other local authorities. The checklist has been developed into an
Excel tool which:


      -   Enables local authorities to check progress against a common digital inclusion
          framework,
      -   Enables local Digital Inclusion Advisors to help the local organisations that
          they meet to check their progress around socially inclusive use of technology2
      -   Enables local authorities and other local organisations to compare their own
          progress against the sector (all other LA information aggregated together)
      -   Provides access to a good practice evidence base and question prompts to
          raise awareness of the opportunities that new technologies provide to tackling
          social exclusion

1
    http://www.communities.gov.uk/communities/digitalinclusion/
2
    If you would like a Digital Inclusion adviser to complete this checklist for you then there is a
request form available at http://lia.communities.gov.uk/index.php?page=1
This document provides an overview of the tool, and a complete reference guide to
the checklist.


Checklist Tool

Overview of Tool
Six ‘excellence criteria’ form the foundations of the checklist tool. These are
highlighted in Figure 1, and are:


   -   Leadership, Vision and Strategy
   -   Enabling Actions
   -   Community engagement and empowerment
   -   Essential Partnerships
   -   Effective Partnerships
   -   Evidenced Outcomes




Figure 1 Digital Inclusion Checklist Framework



Under each criterion is a set of sub-criteria against which local organisations can
measure their progress. Each sub-criterion can be assigned one of a number of
descriptions of progress, which in turn can be assigned a ‘progress score’:


       -   Not checked yet: which means ‘not completed yet’. This contributes
           nothing to the progress score.
       -   Don’t know: which means the sub-criterion has been checked but
           ‘information to complete it isn’t available’.
       -   Not at all: which means this has been checked and as yet there is ‘no
           activity’ against the sub-criterion. This is presented a lower score and an
           opportunity to consider trying out some of the good practice examples of
           other organisations that have made progress in this area.
       -   In consideration: means that progress has been checked and there is
           ‘clear consideration of action’. This is marked as a higher progress score
           than ‘not at all’ but is still an opportunity to make more progress and try
           out some of the actions of other organisations.
       -   Initiated: means that progress has been checked and there is ‘clear
           progress and commencement of action’. This is marked as a higher score
           than ‘in-consideration’ but still an opportunity to complete what has been
           started and to evaluate the impact.
       -   Done it: means that significant activities have been completed. This is
           marked as a higher progress score than ‘initiated’ and is an opportunity to
           measure the impact and to share with other organisations the progress
           that has been made.
       -   Evaluated: means that actions have been completed and assessed and
           there is clear evidence of the impact on people’s lives, service levels and
           disadvantaged communities. This gains the highest progress score and is
           a clear opportunity to share the results with others.


There are 30 sub-criteria to ascribe one of the above progress descriptions. The tool
then computes progress scores against each sub-criterion and also aggregates these
scores to a criterion level to produce various charts of progress, as illustrated in
Figure 2




                     Figure 2 Example Completed Checklist Profile
The tool computes a SWOT analysis and highlights the sub-criteria against which
progress is represented at a strength, weakness, opportunity or threat as illustrated
in Figure 3.




                               Figure 3 SWOT Analysis



The tool also contains scores from Beacon Local authorities against which progress
can be compared and charts such as the one in Figure 4 produced. An automated
report containing all charts and tables can be printed out.


There are 5 steps to using the tool:
   -   Complete the checklist; ascribe values to 30 sub-criteria and add any
       supporting evidence
   -   Enter a few key details; such as name, email address and details of the
       organisation for which the checklist has been completed
   -   Review outputs
   -   Print your report
   -   Submit your report for benchmarking purposes.




Figure 4 Digital Inclusion Benchmarking Output




Use of the Tool
The tool is not meant as a formal assessment and there is no intention to use this
tool in future in any way in formal local government performance assessments –
although completion of it might provide some useful value added evidence of
progress. However the spirit of this framework is:


   -   Informal
   -   Focused on support and improvement
   -   Sharing of your approaches around areas you identify as strengths
   -   Reviewing what others have done around areas you identify as weaknesses
   -   Sharing of your scores, in confidence, so that peaks and averages across the
       sector can be measured.
It is one of a number of capacity building tools around digital inclusion to help local
organisations address the risks and realise the opportunities around technology and
social inclusion.



Who Should Use the Tool?
It is predominantly focused on local authorities and local strategic partnerships.
However, other public sector and services organisations (e.g. housing associations)
might find many of the criteria relevant.




Reference Guide

The remainder of this report provides details against criteria, sub-criteria and good
practice examples on which the digital inclusion checklist is founded. Figure 5
provides a guide to the sections that follow.




                                                                    Checklist Sub-Criterion Title
                                                                    Unique element of digital inclusion
                                                                    checklist, against which, progress can
 Long Description                                                   be measured and action undertaken.
 Generic description of how a local
 authority might make progress against
 this sub-criterion.
                                                                    Short Description
                                                                    Short single sentence description of
                                                                    Digital Inclusion checklist sub-criterion.
 Beacon Approaches
 A short summary description of the
 approach that digital inclusion beacons
 have taken against this sub-criterion.

                                                                    Prompt Questions
                                                                    Short questions to consider when
 Beacon Examples                                                    reviewing progress against sub-
 Short details of specific examples of                              criterion.
 approaches from individual Beacons.




 Pointers for Action                                                Other Approaches
 Practical steps that can be taken to make                          Short details of specific examples of
 progress in this area.                                             approaches from other local authorities
                                                                    and partners. This will expand over time.




Figure 5 Guide to Reference Sections that Follow
Leadership, Vision and Strategy
Strong leadership, robust processes and a strategy are important to delivering the
opportunities around the socially inclusive use of technology and managing the risks
of deepening social exclusion. This includes having an appropriate champion for
digital inclusion and a strategy, which enjoys strong cross-cutting support across
corporate departments and external partners. Processes for mainstreaming the
socially inclusive use of technology in corporate plans, systemically managing the
risks around exclusion and establishing a robust performance measurement are also
critical for success. Future proofing corporate and community strategies through
technology horizon scanning and building in sustainability of action from the outset
are important for ensuring digital inclusion initiatives deliver in the mid and long term
for the most disadvantaged people and communities, and continue to do so far
beyond short term pilots.
Steering and Championing

In beacon local authorities, digital inclusion has a named champion, a clear strategy
and vision, and broad crosscutting support across organisations and partners.



Champion

A senior champion for the digital inclusion.
                              The authority has a senior member of the corporate or
                              the strategic partnership leadership team named as
                              champion for digital inclusion e.g. Chief Executive,
                              Deputy Chief Executive, Chair of LSP, senior partner or
Description
                              an elected member. The champion provides the
                              strategic direction and acts as an ambassador
                              internally and externally with partners and
                              stakeholders.
                              Is there a named champion for digital inclusion or the
                              socially inclusive use of technology?
Questions to Consider
                              Is the champion in a strategic political, corporate or
                              partnership role?
                              Beacons have strong Chief Information Officer and
                              Information Technology divisions that drive forward
Beacon Approach               digital inclusion actions and initiatives. However
                              Beacon all share, in common, a champion in a strategic
                              ‘non-IT’ corporate, partner or political role.
Beacons Example(s)
The Chair of the Local Strategic Partnership in
Sunderland is the champion for digital inclusion who
ensures that the exclusion risks are well managed and
                                                             Sunderland
that the opportunities around the socially inclusive use
of technology are firmly embedded in the Community
Strategy and Local Area Agreement.
In Solihull the Chief Executive of a Registered Social
Landlord, a partner on the Local Strategic Partnership
(LSP), is a champion for digital inclusion reporting back    Solihull
to the LSP in partnership with the local authority Chief
Information Officer.
The Deputy Chief Executive of Staffordshire Moorlands
Council oversees a strategy which ensures a consistent
and cross cutting approach to tackling issues of digital
                                                             Staffordshire Moorlands
exclusion and the development of innovative solutions
to enhance community involvement. Two elected
members have executive oversight of activities.
Where there is also a strong corporate performance and
change management motivation for a digital inclusion
strategy, the Chief Executive or Deputy Chief Executive      Stratford-upon-Avon
of the council is often the champion. This is particularly
the case in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Organise a local digital inclusion advisor to brief key people in your organisation
    who might be a future champion for digital inclusion. Digital Inclusion Advisors
    are trained to do this and are available through your Regional Improvement and
    Efficiency Partnership (RIEP).
-   Organise a peer-to-peer discussion with an existing champion in another local
    authority – for example from one of the 4 beacons or one of the DC10+
    authorities.
-   If there is a champion already in your organisation then arrange for them to share
    their experience and expertise.
Strategy

A digital inclusion strategy or vision.
                                The authority has a documented approach to digital
                                inclusion, which tackles the risks and progresses the
                                opportunities. This digital inclusion strategy or vision
                                might be a standalone document which supports and
Description                     aligns with community and corporate strategies.
                                Alternatively, digital inclusion might be integrated into
                                existing strategies. Either way partner and community
                                organisations will have been actively engaged in the
                                development of this strategy.
                                Is there a digital strategy or vision?
                                How was it developed and who was involved and
                                consulted?
                                Who owns this strategy?
Questions to Consider           How does it relate to and support corporate and
                                community strategies?
                                Is it standalone or integrated?
                                Is it clearly focused on the most vulnerable people and
                                communities in the area?
                                Beacons have all developed evidence-based,
                                standalone strategies created through consultation and
                                engagement with citizens and local strategic partners.
                                These strategies typically have a golden thread from
                                the Sustainable Community Strategy, Local Area
                                Agreement to departmental objectives and ICT
                                strategy. They reflect the needs of the most vulnerable
Beacon Approach
                                and socially excluded citizens. The strategies are living
                                documents and regularly reviewed and updated as
                                necessary. Interestingly, most beacons have
                                developed their strategies bottom-up. By acting first
                                this creates momentum, broad support and
                                understanding, which are key foundations on which to
                                build a strategy.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands has developed a strong
hierarchy of strategies and plans starting with the
Community Strategy and including a Social Inclusion
strategy to which the Digital Inclusion Strategy clearly       Staffordshire Moorlands
contributes. 'Towards a Digital Vision for Staffordshire
Moorlands' is a key element of the Council's Information
Management Strategy.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s digital strategy and vision is
called ‘The Virtual District’. This vision delivers critical
infrastructure. Elements of the community strategy
could not be fully and efficiently delivered without this.     Stratford Upon Avon
The Virtual District is therefore an important vehicle for
accelerating and advancing the delivery of the
community strategy.
Sunderland’s community strategy is focused on
improving life chances and opportunities for those in the
community. A separate but complementary digital               Sunderland
strategy has been developed which directly supports
these aims.
Solihull’s community strategy identifies reducing
inequalities as a key issue for the borough. The
borough’s digital inclusion strategy is seen as helping to
address this issue. It is a living document on a wiki to
which the community and partners can add. Key themes
                                                              Solihull
include:
   - Value for money (vfm)/ efficiency in services
   - Tackling the digital divide
   - ICT to enhance opportunities and life chances
   - Choice
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Get somebody in to read your community strategy, corporate plan, LAA and ICT
    strategy through a digital inclusion ‘lens’. Digital Inclusion Advisors are trained to
    do this and are available through your Regional Improvement and Efficiency
    Partnership (RIEP).
-   Read the beacon strategies and visions to get an idea of what other local
    authorities are doing.
-   The beacon local authorities started off by delivering some digital inclusion
    initiatives first to create momentum, understanding and support. There are many
    national partners and transferable projects to get started on.
-   If you have a strategy in place share it with others.
Cross-Cutting Support

Strong support for the digital inclusion vision or strategy.
                               There is strong understanding, awareness and support
                               for the digital inclusion strategy and initiatives across
Description                    the authority, at senior executive level, service director
                               level, among strategic partners and elected members,
                               including the leadership.
                               Are the following, aware of the opportunities and risks?
                               and supportive of digital inclusion strategy/ vision?
                                   - Chief exec/ Deputy chief exec?
                                   - Service directors?
                                   - Senior partners?
                                   - Councillors, Members and the Leader?
                               Are they actively involved in communicating the
Questions to Consider
                               strategy/ vision?
                               Are they actively involved in delivering and monitoring
                               the delivery of the strategy?
                               Are they stakeholders in the success of the strategy?
                               i.e. does success help them with their day jobs?
                               Has digital inclusion ever been discussed by the local
                               strategic partnership?
                               Among the beacons, the digital inclusion strategy is
                               regarded as a key tool for helping to deliver important
                               outcomes including better services for hard to reach
                               groups and increased participation in council and
                               community decisions. The digital inclusion strategy is
                               therefore seen as core business and there is clear
                               cross-cutting support in delivering it. Councillors and
Beacon Approach
                               elected members in particular understand the benefits
                               of digital inclusion for the communities they represent.
                               There is also awareness of how social exclusion is
                               linked to digital exclusion the risks of inaction. There is
                               broad commitment to tackling these risks by local
                               strategic partners, the senior executive level in the local
                               authority and members of the council.
Beacons Example(s)
In Sunderland members of the Local Strategic
Partnership (LSP), council officials and community
organisations are on the digital strategy programme
board. Clear support exists particularly among service
                                                               Sunderland
directors who see the strategy as core to more effective
and efficient delivery. Community organisations and the
LSP have been actively engaged in the design and
implementation of the strategy.
From its inception Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Virtual District
strategy has been supported by all political parties,
senior officers from the District Council, the deputy
leader and partners. This support from senior             Stratford-Upon-Avon
management has been crucial for disseminating the
ideas and proposals internally and to senior
management teams of partners.
In Sunderland digital inclusion is acknowledged by the
Local Strategic Partnership as a cross-cutting theme in
the community strategy. There is sufficient cross-cutting Sunderland
support that the LSP has agreed to develop and own a
separate digital inclusion strategy.
In Solihull, digital inclusion actions and projects
contribute directly to the boroughs regeneration strategy
led by a specifically formed regeneration company. This
company helps to galvanise crosscutting support           Solihull
particularly for digital inclusion projects that tackle
worklessness, improve residents' quality of life and
address poor school attainment.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   To build cross-cutting support Digital Inclusion cannot be run alone for example
    by an IT function. It should be core business and help a broad set of stakeholders
    within a local authority and across partnerships to deliver core aims and
    objectives more efficiently, effectively, and most importantly more inclusively.
    Cross-check the digital inclusion strategy aims and objectives against key
    corporate and community strategies to ensure that they are aligned.
-   Explore with service directors and partners how the digital inclusion strategy can
    help them mitigate the risks around deepening exclusion and also help them to
    deliver more inclusive and effective services.
Embedding Digital Inclusion

In beacon local authorities digital inclusion not only has a dedicated digital inclusion
strategy but it has mainstreamed actions into key corporate planning documents.
Systemic planning processes are in place to ensure the opportunities of digital
inclusion are routinely considered and social exclusion impact assessments
ensure the risks are mitigated. Performance measurement frameworks are in place
to assess the impact of action.
Mainstreamed Action Plans

Digital inclusion actions and initiatives are embedded in mainstream corporate plans.
                               As well as having a separate digital vision/ strategy the
                               authority has mainstreamed digital inclusion actions
                               and initiatives into key corporate plans. Digital inclusion
Description                    activities and plans are not autonomous, owned purely
                               by the IT department and labelled as ‘technical’ or
                               specialist. They have owners and sponsors in other
                               areas of the organisation outside of IT.
                               Is there a digital inclusion perspective in key corporate
                               plans – particularly those owned by service directors?
                               How do digital inclusion initiatives relate to corporate
                               plans and activities?
                               How is digital inclusion accounted for the in the local
Questions to Consider          area agreement and local area agreement action plan?
                               Who owns digital inclusion actions and initiatives? Are
                               there clear business owners outside of the IT
                               department?
                               Does the community strategy mention digital inclusion
                               in any way?
                               Among the beacon authorities there are digital
                               inclusion actions and perspectives in key corporate
Beacon Approach                plans especially those relating to service directorates.
                               Actions and initiatives particularly closely align to
                               delivering LAA targets.
Beacons Example(s)
In addition to having a separate digital strategy,
Sunderland’s Community Strategy also has a digital
inclusion section within it. Key Digital Inclusion projects
are owned and sponsored by service directors and              Sunderland
incorporated into service plans. There is a ‘digital
opportunities’ column in Local Area Agreement (LAA)
tables and the LAA action plan.
Stratford’s Virtual District programme operates hand in
hand with the other key strategies of the Council,
meeting the aims of the Corporate Strategy, delivering
key national indicators in support of the Warwickshire
Local Area Agreement, Community Plan and promoting
the values of the Council's Equality and Diversity
scheme. Key Themes include:                                   Stratford Upon Avon
   - promoting and enabling independent living,
   - increasing public participation in the way services
       are delivered and developed,
   - increasing opportunities for learning,
   - strengthening the Local Economy and
       encouraging investment into the district.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Virtual District Programme is
strongly aligned to the local area agreement (LAA). It
supports outcomes identified in the Warwickshire LAA
                                                              Stratford-Upon-Avon
specifically: NI 139 (independent living), NI 163 and 165
(NVQ levels), NI 171 and 172 (economy) and NI 4
(community engagement).
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Review key corporate plans and explore how to incorporate existing and new
    digital inclusion actions, and initiatives.
-   Explore with service directors and partners how digital inclusion initiatives can
    help them to deliver more inclusive and effective services.
Systemic Planning

Systemic consideration of digital inclusion opportunities in business planning.
                              The authority has ongoing processes in place to
                              periodically explore the opportunities to use technology
                              to deliver more socially inclusive services and
Description                   consultations. These processes ensure due
                              consideration of digital inclusion opportunities in action
                              planning, social policy development and service
                              transformation.
                              Is there an ongoing process to ensure that digital
                              inclusion opportunities are considered during periodic
Questions to Consider         business planning exercises?
                              Or is the development of a digital inclusion strategy a
                              one-off event?
                              Beacon authorities have deployed a number of
                              processes and approaches to ensure that
                              consideration of digital inclusion opportunities is
                              ongoing and embedded in departmental planning
                              exercises. These vary from adding columns and
Beacon Approach               sections into corporate plans to force consideration of
                              digital inclusion opportunities, to, in some cases,
                              creating a post or a small team within the council that
                              looks at all plans through a digital inclusion/ community
                              ICT ‘lens’ and offer a guaranteed perspective in
                              planning exercises.
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland has introduced a ‘Digital Opportunities’
column against each target in the LAA to ensure
                                                            Sunderland
systemic consideration of the opportunities of new
technologies for delivering against targets.
Staffordshire Moorlands reviews it's digital strategy
every year with it's strategic partner High Peak Borough
Council – at the same time as community and corporate
strategies. This provides the opportunity for two
                                                            Staffordshire Moorlands
councils, operating across regional boundaries, to
review and create new joint-actions to tackle digital
exclusion, and share approaches, technologies and
standards.
Sunderland’s IT department has an established a
community ICT team within it which focuses on
community ICT activities as a complement to traditional
                                                            Sunderland
corporate IT services. They ensure a systemic approach
and guaranteed perspective on digital inclusion during
planning exercises.
Other Approaches
North Lincolnshire Council has established a permanent
digital inclusion unit, which works across departmental
boundaries to establish activities and initiatives. The    North Lincolnshire
team ensures a systemic approach and guaranteed            Council
perspective on digital inclusion during council planning
exercises.
Pointers for Action

-   Add a digital opportunities column in your local area agreement action plan and
    complete it either with the support of a Digital Inclusion Advisor or by reviewing
    resources like Solutions4Inclusion which maps hundreds of projects against
    national indicators. Digital Inclusion Advisors are trained to do this and are
    available through your Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP).
-   Explore the roles and teams that some local authorities like Sunderland and
    North Lincolnshire have created to see it they are suitable models to set up.
Social Exclusion Impact Assessment

Systemic consideration of the risks of new policies, services and initiatives to deepen
social and digital exclusion.
                               The authority considers the impact of all new policies,
                               programmes and services on equality, social exclusion
                               and digital exclusion. These impact assessments
                               consider whether there are likely to be negative
Description
                               consequences. They also consider whether there are
                               likely to be different impacts from those planned
                               particularly for the most disadvantaged – digitally and
                               socially.
                               Are new policies, programmes and services
                               transformations considered for their impact on social
                               and digital exclusion?
                               Are new social policies, programmes and services
Questions to Consider          ‘digital exclusion-proof’? (In other words they have the
                               same outcomes for those who are digitally excluded as
                               those who are not)
                               Are digital policies, programmes and service
                               transformations ‘digital exclusion-proof’?
                               Beacon authorities manage the risks around digital
                               exclusion very well. They have process in place to
                               ensure that equality, accessibility and inclusion are
                               systemically embedded into strategies, policies,
                               programmes and services. For example extending the
                               use of equality impact assessments to cover digital
                               exclusion, or establishing external auditors to review
Beacon Approach                the accessibility of web services. They have clear
                               examples were they have assessed the potential
                               impact of a new policy or service and then acted to
                               mitigate a potential negative impact on a specific
                               vulnerable community or group. Service transformation
                               plans and strategies in particular, are considered for
                               their potential impact on the most vulnerable as well as
                               for the mainstream population.
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland’s Fair Access to Care Services (FACS)
policy is a systemic approach to ensuring eligibility
criteria for adult social care do not inadvertently deepen
exclusion. Sunderland now offers telecare support to
                                                             Sunderland
people assessed at all four levels of need as part of a
prevention strategy to stop people deteriorating and
moving up levels of need. Those on the lowest ‘need’
levels can pay a small amount to access services.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is committed to making its online
services as inclusive as possible. They have created
plain text versions of all web pages and made them all       Stratford-Upon-Avon
speech enabled. The council invited in and took on
board comments from the disabled community.
Stratford-Upon-Avon council carries out Equality Impact
Assessments whenever it develops or reviews a service
strategy. This enables the council to determine whether    Stratford-Upon-Avon
any policy, service or procedure is likely to have a
negative effect, or a different effect from planned.
Staffordshire Moorlands council undertakes an Equality
Impact Assessment for every new policy or initiative
approved via cabinet. Equality impact assessments
have been conducted for the ICT, Access to Services,
Rural Access and Information Management strategies.
                                                           Staffordshire Moorlands
These assessments not only mitigate exclusion but also
establish if they are taking real advantage of the
'positive risk' to reach out further to engage those in
communities who would not have previously been
considered.
Staffordshire Moorlands specifically procured an
inclusion audit of web services. This was a full and
detailed external audit and disability user test - above   Staffordshire Moorlands
and beyond other benchmarking assessments across
the sector.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider extending equality impact assessments to cover digital exclusion to
    ensure that any new policies, services or initiatives have the same outcomes for
    those who are digitally excluded as those who are not. Consider talking to
    councils like Stratford-Upon-Avon and Staffordshire Moorlands who have done
    this.
-   Ensure council web services are accessible and meet the required W3C
    standards. Consider a periodic external audit.
-   If you have alternative approaches – share them.
Performance Management

A robust performance measurement framework established.
                             The authority has a performance management and
                             measurement framework in place to ensure that digital
Description                  inclusion activities deliver the social impact they were
                             designed to deliver in support of the strategy. Progress
                             is regularly reviewed.
                             Have clear goals and targets been set for digital
                             inclusion activities?
                             Is there a clear evaluation framework for digital
                             inclusion initiatives?
                             Does this framework allow activity levels and inputs to
Questions to Consider
                             be measured against and related to outputs and
                             outcomes?
                             Who is measuring the outcomes?
                             Are outcomes being measured independent from those
                             leading activities were possible?
                             Beacons measure the impact of their activities and
                             initiatives. They have focused on measuring clear
                             social outcomes rather than just ‘digital’ outputs. They
                             have been particularly skilled at regularly developing
                             case study evidence and reviewing progress against
Beacon Approach
                             qualitative ‘softer’ measures as well as quantitative
                             data. Some have engaged independent organisations,
                             particularly local universities, to assess progress.
                             Performance measurement is planned in at the
                             beginning and not an after thought.
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland has established a Digital Inclusion target
which has been included in it’s Local Area Agreement
(LAA) alongside the 33 other targets. Sunderland
                                                           Sunderland
University has been engaged to deliver an independent
evaluation of the whole digital strategy. Individual
projects are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Staffordshire Moorlands Council has developed a
structured survey system within its CRM system that
engages service users to measure their satisfaction with
the service and the extent to which their needs have       Staffordshire Moorlands
been met. These satisfaction measures are collected
across all access channels and are key to driving
service improvements for all.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Virtual District Programme
supports priority outcomes identified in the
Warwickshire local area agreement (LAA) specifically
those measured through NI 139 (independent living), NI     Stratford-Upon-Avon
163 and 165 (NVQ levels), NI 171 and 172 (economy)
and NI 4 (community engagement). These are some of
the key measures of success of the digital strategy.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is working with Coventry University
to evaluate the Virtual District Programme. The
                                                             Stratford-Upon-Avon
evaluation is broken down into individual work streams
so incremental change is clearly visible for each project.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider aligning and focusing digital inclusion actions to local area agreement
    (LAA) targets and National Indicators.
-   Consider engaging a local university or college to support the evaluation of digital
    inclusion initiatives.
-   Design and budget for evaluations from the outset. Consider talking to the
    beacons about their approaches particularly the activity-input-output-action
    framework that Sunderland is using, and the case study approaches adopted by
    all of four.
-   Share your evaluation approaches, targets and results. Particularly case studies.
Future Proofing

In beacon local authorities the risks and opportunities associated with the rapid pace
of change of technology are periodically reviewed through horizon scanning within
the context of planning processes. The sustainability of projects is made a priority
from the outset rather than as an after thought.



Horizon Scanning

Periodic horizon scanning around new technologies.
                               The authority recognises the importance of horizon
                               scanning to keep pace with technological change and
                               with the new technologies that residents and
                               communities are currently, and will be using in the
                               future. It assists with service planning and helps to
                               keep up to date with methods of communicating and
Description
                               engaging communities, particularly the isolated and
                               excluded. It is also helps with planning and managing
                               major local changes for example associated with Digital
                               Switchover or the roll-out of Next Generation
                               Broadband. Horizon scanning is an important element
                               of the forward planning process.
                               Does the authority periodically consider new
                               technologies?
                               Is the policy towards new technologies reactive or
                               proactive?
                               Have the issues and opportunities around digital
Questions to Consider
                               switchover and next generation broadband been
                               considered?
                               Are there supportive processes in place to enable
                               departments and partners to test and innovate around
                               new technologies?
                               Beacon authorities form partnerships for horizon
                               scanning with other local authorities, universities and
Beacon Approach
                               the private sector. They all share a willingness and
                               clear track record of testing new technologies.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands uses the resources and
expertise of the Staffordshire Connects Partnership to
'horizon scan' technological opportunities and risks in
                                                              Staffordshire Moorlands
the future. For example, the opportunities of using
Digital TV for service delivery and linking this to Digital
Switchover are being assessed.
Stratford-Upon-Avon partners with local universities to
understand what new technologies are on the horizon.
The council provides a supportive environment for
                                                              Stratford-Upon-Avon
testing new technologies. For example the council is
working with Wolverhampton University to trial
interactive radio frequency identification ‘RFID’ posters.
Solihull MBC partners with the private sector to trial new
technologies. The council and a registered social
landlord (RSL) is partnering with industry to deploy         Solihull
‘Powerline’ broadband technology in high-rise tower
blocks and distribute ‘free’ broadband to residents.
Solihull MBC is testing the Wii games console as an
                                                             Solihull
access channel for delivering services.
Solihull community housing is taking advantage of
digital switchover to delivering key services over digital
                                                             Solihull
interactive TV in partnership with Kirklees Council
through its DigiTV shared service.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   In preparation for digital switchover consider offering services over digital
    interactive TV by partnering with Kirklees Council which operates a DigiTV
    shared service.
-   Review broadband infrastructure provision for your communities and determine
    whether local infrastructure, and future plans will meet the needs of residents and
    local businesses. Visit community maps to support this review and talk to
    organisations like the Community Broadband Network, which runs local
    community broadband projects.
-   Consider partnering with a local university, other local authorities/ connects
    partnership or the private sector to support horizon scanning and technology
    transfer.
-   Consider the opportunities around technologies such as serious games, smart
    meters, telehealth and telecare, community displays, IPTV, games consoles to
    name but a few.
Sustainability

Digital inclusion initiatives are sustainable with long term plans.
                               The authority considers sustainability a priority, with
                               long-term business models and plans in place for key
                               initiatives from the outset. Many digital inclusion
                               initiatives are funded from short-term grant or pilot
Description
                               funding and as a result end when the funding is
                               completed. The sustainability of projects can often be
                               an afterthought when it should be considered at the
                               outset.
                               Has long-term sustainability been considered for
                               projects?
                               Are initiatives funding from ‘one-off’ grant funding e.g.
                               applications for EU or challenge funding?
                               Or are initiatives funded from core service delivery
                               departments?
                               Is revenue income been generated to cover running
Questions to Consider
                               costs were possible?
                               Is there typically a buyer/ seller model in place for
                               initiatives, backed by competition?
                               Have projects and initiatives been adequately
                               business-cased?
                               Does the community have a sufficient stake in and
                               ownership of projects?
                               Beacon authorities have employed a number of
                               strategies to ensure that initiatives are sustainable.
                               Linking and embedding in long-term, 15-20 strategies
                               is one such approach. Establishing a long-term
                               regeneration company responsible for delivering
Beacon Approach                elements of the digital inclusion strategy is another. A
                               more common approach among the beacons has been
                               to generate revenue to cover operating costs. In
                               addition all the beacons well understand the
                               importance of community ownership of initiatives as
                               critical to sustainability.
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland council has established Electronic Village
Halls (EVHs) within communities as places to gain
access and support to ICT. EVHs are clearly owned by          Sunderland
the community rather than the council and community
ownership is a key route to sustainability.
Sunderland People First is a Community group of adults
with learning difficulties. The council has helped
members to use ICT to ‘translate’ documents into
accessible formats using symbols, pictures and videos.
                                                              Sunderland
This has generated some revenue e.g. the council and
commission for social care has paid the group to
translate documents. Revenue helps to sustain
initiatives.
Sunderland has made a sustainable commitment to its
digital inclusion projects by linking them to a long-term    Sunderland
community strategy, underpinned by a 3 yearly refresh.
In Solihull some digital inclusion projects directly
support the work of a local regeneration company
                                                             Solihull
established with funding for 15 years. So these projects
are sustainable over a significant time horizon.
Solihull Community Housing’s interactive CCTV system,
is sustained by additional fees paid by tenants. However
the system is also capable of expansion to cover other       Solihull
public areas, generating additional income from the
council and other businesses.
The FLAME bus is a mobile office, which visits villages
and towns across South Warwickshire taking public
services to residents' doorsteps. It is operated by          Stratford Upon Avon
regular contact centre staff who have a mobile clause in
their contracts – so staffing is sustainable.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s ‘rural cinema’ provides mobile
equipment, which can be rented along with movies and
then used by communities and community groups. It is
a cost effective and popular way for people in rural
                                                             Stratford-Upon-Avon
communities to come together periodically. The service
generates revenue that covers the running costs and
also helps to generate additional income for local
community organisations.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider sustainability at the outset rather than as an after thought. Develop a
    sound business case and sustainable model. Consider calling in a Digital
    Inclusion Advisors to develop a business case and explore sustainable models.
    Digital Inclusion Advisors are skilled in doing this and are available through your
    Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP).
-   Share your approaches to achieving sustainable projects.
Enabling Actions
Clear understanding and insight into the needs of the most disadvantaged residents
and communities is essential to managing the risks around digital and social
exclusion and realising the opportunities around new technologies. It is particularly
important to address the unique issues and opportunities associated with exclusion in
rural communities. In order to make a significant difference, socially inclusive use of
technology needs to be accompanied by organisational change and new ways of
working. Identifying and implementing the opportunities requires a multi-disciplinary
and cross-cutting approach. It also requires a supportive environment, which creates
time and space for problem solving and actively encourages new ideas and new
ways of working. Robust processes for stimulating and managing change are
essential.
Local Knowledge and Insight

In beacon local authorities there is clear identification and prioritisation of vulnerable
groups and communities at risk of social and digital exclusion based on community
mapping and resident insight research. The specific and unique issues faced by
rural and remote rural communities are well understood and mitigated.



Community Mapping and Resident Insight

The most disadvantaged communities and residents have been identified and
prioritised.
                               The authority has ‘mapped’ their communities to
                               identify the most vulnerable, marginalised and
                               disadvantaged. The authority has taken steps to
                               research, profile and identify the specific needs of their
Description
                               most vulnerable customers. These are an established
                               priority for improving services, providing support and
                               increasing engagement. And technology in an enabler
                               for this.
                               Have specific vulnerable groups been identified?
                               Have specific disadvantaged communities been
                               identified?
                               Are these a priority for the community strategy and
                               digital inclusion initiatives?
Questions to Consider          Have targets and goals been set for supporting these
                               groups?
                               Has technology helped in the identification of these
                               groups and communities? E.g. Geographic Information
                               Systems (GIS) mapping, Customer Relationship
                               Management (CRM) system data analysis?
                               Beacons have clearly identified the communities and
                               target segments in most need. They use a variety of
                               information resources such as CRM systems, the ESD-
                               toolkit, Community Maps, Places Community, and local
Beacon Approach
                               knowledge from partners. Beacons particularly make
                               use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to
                               identify the most excluded communities and improve
                               the targeting of service delivery.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands make extensive use of a CRM
system to develop customer insight on service users to        Staffordshire Moorlands
improve reach, effectiveness and efficiency of services.
Stratford-Upon-Avon conducts deprivation mapping by
extracting data from back office systems into a
Geographical Information System (GIS). This enables           Stratford-Upon-Avon
better targeting of services around vulnerable groups
and deprived communities.
Sunderland has established Independent Advisory
Groups to help to determine the needs of the most           Sunderland
vulnerable.
In addition to making extensive use of customer insight
and mapping data, Staffordshire Moorlands Council also
                                                            Staffordshire Moorlands
places this on its My Moorlands website for use by
partners and its communities.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Talk to one of the beacons about their approaches to mapping communities and
    gathering insight around vulnerable groups.
-   Use Community Maps to develop digital and social exclusion maps of your
    communities.
-   Make use of the resources in the ESD-toolkit, and the Places Community that
    relate to your area.
-   Review the digital inclusion profiles of vulnerable groups published on the
    community and local government web site.
-   Join the Customer Insight Community of Practice
-   Share your approaches with other local authorities.
Rural Proofing

The unique opportunities and risks associated with rural areas are addressed.
                               Authorities with rural communities take specific actions
                               to overcome any unique barriers to technology-enabled
                               services. For example, barriers related to population
Description                    density, physical location, lack of resources and
                               limitations of infrastructure. The unique opportunities
                               for technology to extend the reach and convenience of
                               services in rural areas are realised.
                               Is there a strategy in place for supporting remote and
                               isolated rural areas?
                               Is technology being used strategically to extend the
Questions to Consider          reach of services in rural and remote rural areas?
                               Is there any work with communications providers and
                               regional development agencies to encourage improved
                               infrastructure in rural areas like broadband?
                               Beacon local authorities have specifically addressed
                               the challenges of delivering the benefits of technology
                               enabled services to rural areas. They have used a
                               number of strategies. Mobile equipment on buses have
                               been used to deliver services, and to demonstrate to
                               remote communities the alternative approaches to
                               accessing services. In some cases permanent
Beacon Approach                equipment has been installed in community locations
                               and village halls for use by local residents. In other
                               cases mobile equipment has been developed for
                               communities to share. Shared services and partnering
                               approaches have also been adopted. In all cases
                               beacons have recognised the specific needs and
                               challenges associated with remote areas and
                               developed strategies to address these.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands conducts periodic ‘Rural
Access Road Shows’ aimed at promoting the different
means of access to the services of the council and its      Staffordshire Moorlands
partners. This is facilitated by an ‘e-bus’ operated in a
partnership with Leek College.
Stratford District covers a large rural area, with many
residents not able to access the main Council Offices
located in Stratford-Upon-Avon due to personal
circumstances or transport difficulties. The Council
therefore operates local area offices, One Stop Shops,      Stratford-Upon-Avon
a mobile service bus and Village Liaison officers who
deliver services in peoples’ homes. Customer services
advisors also deliver cross-tier services for both the
District and County Council.
Rural isolation within the Stratford-Upon-Avon district is
also exacerbated by digital exclusion among some
communities where there is a lack of community access
to computers and ICT infrastructure. This can lead to
exclusion from learning opportunities and other              Stratford-Upon-Avon
services. Virtual village halls, like the Hub@Blackwell,
offer ICT Training and personal internet access in
village halls, community centres, church halls, and other
community focal points.
It is particularly difficult for some rural communities to
attend and get involved in town hall business. Stratford-
Upon-Avon has developed the technology for people to         Stratford-Upon-Avon
remotely attend town hall meetings – not only to see live
video but also to submit live questions.
With services disappearing in rural areas Stratford has
developed a ‘rural cinema’. The mobile equipment can
be rented along with movies and then used by
                                                             Stratford-Upon-Avon
communities and community groups. The service
provides a cost effective and popular way for people in
rural communities to come together periodically.
In response to the closure of rural post-offices
Staffordshire Moorlands Council has undertaken a
detailed analysis of the payment transactions received
                                                             Staffordshire Moorlands
at all post offices so that targeted action can be
undertaken in those areas where the service
is most at risk, and local action is required.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Talk to the beacons, Staffordshire Moorlands and Stratford-Upon-Avon in
    particular, about their approaches to supporting rural communities.
-   Review the Commission for Rural Communities guidance on rural proofing
-   Share your approaches with other local authorities serving large rural areas.
Managing Organisational Change

In beacon local authorities there are opportunities for different disciplines,
particularly technological and social, to interact in creative and productive ways to
stimulate change. There is a supportive environment for innovation, which
creates time and space for problem solving and actively encourages new ideas and
new ways of working. Digital inclusion activities typically involve technology with an
element of changed work practices to deliver genuine social impact. In beacon
authorities there are processes for managing change.
Cross-Discipline Approach

Productive opportunities for IT and social disciplines to work closely to improve
services.
                              The authority recognises the ‘knowledge gap’ between
                              social and IT disciplines – that IT staff understand the
                              technology but often not the social issues, and frontline
                              workers understand the social issues but often are not
                              aware of the technical solutions available. The authority
                              takes effective action to bridge this knowledge gap and
Description
                              facilitates productive and creative working between the
                              different disciplines, especially IT and service delivery
                              departments. There are systemic opportunities for staff
                              to be brought together to stimulate change and ideas
                              for improvement for the most deprived people and
                              communities.
                              How do frontline workers, service managers and the IT
                              department interact?
                              Do different disciplines across the organisation
                              including IT, social and services, come together in a
                              productive way to tackle social and digital exclusion?
                              Are there systemic opportunities for IT to come
Questions to Consider
                              together with frontline workers and services managers?
                              Are there opportunities for IT to engage with frontline
                              workers in partner organisations and community
                              groups?
                              Do frontline workers from different disciplines and
                              partners come together and is this facilitated by ICT?
                              Beacon authorities have had some success in bridging
                              the social-technology knowledge gap. Bringing the
                              disciplines together around community maps and
                              resident insight is one approach, which helps IT and
                              social disciplines to interact in a productive way around
                              some common research. Another approach is to
Beacon Approach               collocate staff together, facilitated by ICT – this
                              encourages new solutions and ways of working. Cross-
                              discipline meetings and workshops enable social and
                              technological staff from the authority and it’s partners to
                              solve problems together. Technology is seen as an
                              effective lens through which to view social problems to
                              develop
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland’s Bunnyhill centre is a place where ICT and
different services and disciplines, and service users
come together under one roof – including housing,
health services, a fitness centre, a library, community     Sunderland
spaces and adult education classrooms. Significant ICT
facilities are included and the collocation encourages
new ways of joined-up working.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Deprivation Mapping forces a
cross discipline approach. For example the Social
Inclusion Team has worked with the Revenues Service
to specify information requirements, IT specialists and
software developers to extract that information as           Stratford-Upon-Avon
meaningful data, the Council's GIS team to take that
data and make it spatially enabled and therefore
presenting the data as intelligent maps. This approach
has allowed service delivery targeting on a micro scale.
Other Approaches
North Lincolnshire Council have run various workshops
to bring IT, IT industry, together with services users,
frontline workers and council partners to explore social
issues. This approach has resulted in innovative new         North Lincolnshire
services being tested – ementoring for children in care
and the development of an eclinic to support remote
psychotherapy.
Pointers for Action

-   Consider a workshop or away day with an external facilitator to bring IT and
    service delivery departments together to encourage new and innovative
    approaches to supporting the most disadvantaged people and communities.
    Digital Inclusion Advisors are skilled in doing this and are available through your
    Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP).
-   Share your approaches to ensuring productive opportunities for IT and social
    disciplines to work closely to improve services
Innovation Environment

A supportive environment for robust new ideas to prosper.
                               The authority creates the space for problem solving
                               and innovation around vulnerable groups, deprived
Description                    communities and social exclusion problems. New ideas
                               are encouraged, rigorously assessed and some are
                               implemented.
                               Are there processes in place to encourage problem
                               solving?
                               Is there a process for new ideas to be assessed and
                               taken forward?
Questions to Consider
                               Is trying new ways of working activity encouraged?
                               Is space and time created for relevant staff to get away
                               from their day jobs and solve problems?
                               Is failure considered positively as learning?
                               Beacons typically have processes for actively
                               encouraging, collecting and considering suggestions
                               from frontline staff workers. Strong relationships with
Beacon Approach                universities to stimulate innovation and take advantage
                               of technology transfer into the public sector. Some local
                               authorities have established their own innovation
                               centres.
Beacons Example(s)
In Stratford Upon Avon staff are encouraged to develop,
learn and try new things at all levels to stimulate
creativity and innovation. This is within a no blame
                                                              Stratford Upon Avon
culture that provides freedom in the knowledge that if
something does not work it will be considered as
learning.
Stratford Upon Avon works with the Institute of Applied
Entrepreneurship (a spin off from Coventry University)
to tap into local innovation. Also work with                  Stratford Upon Avon
Wolverhampton University on new technologies and
providing a test bed e.g. for interactive (RFID) posters.
Other Approaches
The Social Innovation Lab for Kent (SILK) was set up in
2007 to provide a creative environment for a wide range
of staff to work together on some of the toughest
challenges the county faces. It draws upon best practice      Kent County Council
from business, design and social sciences sectors to
establish a way of working that places it's citizens at the
centre of services.
Pointers for Action

-   Consider a workshop or away day with an external facilitator to bring IT and
    service delivery departments together to encourage new and innovative
    approaches to supporting the most disadvantaged people and communities.
    Digital Inclusion Advisors are skilled in doing this and are available through your
    Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP).
-   Share your approaches to stimulating innovation and creativity.
Change Management Processes

Effective management of change across organisational boundaries.
                              The authority recognises that technology and change
                              management are essential complements. Technology
                              is a key enabler for change, and organisational change
                              is essential for technology to deliver social impact.
Description                   Effective change management is therefore essential to
                              have most impact. This might, for example, include
                              supporting frontline workers to change their work
                              practices to maximise the impact of new technologies
                              either being used by them or their clients.
                              Are there strong, systemic drivers for change in place?
                              Are digital inclusion initiatives accompanied by
                              essential organisational change or changes in work
                              practices?
Questions to Consider         Are there processes in places to manage this change?
                              Is there sufficient attention paid to training and support
                              for users and beneficiaries of digital inclusion projects?
                              Is there clear evidence of cross-organisation working
                              and joining up?
                              The beacons have adopted a variety of approaches to
                              stimulating change. A common driver though is the
                              effective collection of residents’ needs and views –
                              which is strongly facilitated by technology. Entering
                              competitions and awards is seen as an important way
                              for beacon councils and partners to focus on new ways
Beacon Approach
                              of working around important national policy areas as
                              well as reward staff who have been creative and taken
                              risks to improve services. Some beacons run their
                              digital inclusion programmes from central ‘change and
                              performance’ departments – this ensures that
                              technology and change are strongly linked.
Beacons Example(s)
In Sunderland there is a strong sense that communities
are a key driving force for change. The council and its
partners are focused on enabling voices to be heard         Sunderland
and to be turned into action as part of a process for
stimulating and managing change.
Applying for competitions such as the digital inclusion
Beacons and the Digital Challenge, or best practice
awards is seen by Sunderland as an important                Sunderland
opportunity and catalyst for achieving a step change in
performance.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Virtual District strategy has been
driven by the authorities central Change and
                                                            Stratford Upon Avon
Performance Department. It is managed as a change
programme.
In Staffordshire Moorlands the council has made the
commitment to ensure all senior managers spend more
time within the community getting first hand experience
of issues and opportunities that amongst other things,
                                                            Staffordshire Moorlands
technology provides. This is a stimulus for change and
the council has put in place a mechanism of measuring
the social benefits of the actions arising from this
approach.
Staffordshire Moorlands Council has developed a
structured survey system within its CRM system that
engages service users to measure their satisfaction with
the service and the extent to which their needs have        Staffordshire Moorlands
been met. This system provides intelligence and
continuous learning and is a persistent driving force for
change and improvement.
In 2007 Stratford-Upon-Avon District Council entered
the Digital Challenge competition. Entering the
competition has been seen as a catalyst for change
                                                            Stratford Upon Avon
providing a unique opportunity to explore with partners
and residents, how to transform service delivery for the
most vulnerable communities and individuals.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider good practice approaches to using technology to periodically collect the
    needs and views of vulnerable residents and disadvantaged communities – using
    technology where it can to improve engagement and participation, and to
    stimulate change.
-   Consider sharing your initiatives for example submit them to Solutions4Inclusion
    for others to learn from. Also consider entering one of the many relevant annual
    competitions and awards as the process benefits are often more important than
    the end outcome.
Community Engagement and Empowerment
Technology can enhance consultation and engagement even among the most
excluded communities. New media can help marginalised communities and
individuals express themselves in new and more effective and empowering ways.
Technology can also transform public services. However the risks and opportunities
around service transformation needs to be managed effectively. Citizens and
communities need to be at the heart of service design and channel strategies need to
be carefully developed to ensure nobody is excluded or experiences second class
services due to a lack of channel choice. Improving access to ICT and skills to use it
can help vulnerable residents become more self sufficient in their consumption of
services, and can also help in other ways, like increased employability. Similarly it
can help communities to tackle their priority issues more effectively by enhancing
dialogue, debate and interaction between residents. Supporting the third sector to
make best use of technology is also a priority as the sector is often a trusted
intermediary to the most marginalised. ICT can help the third sector to improve the
quality and reach of their services.
User Centred Approach

Beacon authorities use technology to enhance consultation and involvement –
even to the most excluded communities and individuals. Inclusive channel
strategies are adopted which not only manage the risks associated with exclusion
and accessibility, but actively ensure that the digitally and socially excluded benefit
from ICT enabled service transformation. Citizens and communities are at the heart
of service design.



Citizen and Community Involvement

Technology facilitates community involvement, consultation and feedback.
                               The authority actively involves and engages vulnerable
                               groups in policy development and important local
                               decisions. It is established practice to consult various
                               groups about policies and strategies in order to help
                               make better decisions. Technology is actively used as
Description
                               an enabler for participation, engagement, involvement
                               and consultation. Technology is used creatively to give
                               excluded people and communities a voice. Also the
                               most hard to reach are consulted on the development
                               of community ICT strategy.
                               Is technology used positively to improve involvement
                               and enhance participation and consultation among
                               disadvantaged communities and residents?
                               Is technology used to feedback the results of
Questions to Consider
                               consultation?
                               Or is technology seen as a negative, exclusionary
                               barrier to effective consultation with the hard to reach
                               and generally avoided?
                               Beacons use technology extensively to facilitate
                               consultation and involvement, to demonstrate how
                               community consultation has influenced decisions and
                               to ensure the community is aware of the outcomes.
                               This is not a one off event and consultation is seen as
Beacon Approach
                               an ongoing process – with technology facilitating
                               continuous involvement. Beacons are particularly
                               skilled at reaching those who are traditionally hard to
                               reach through, for example, intermediation and working
                               through third sector partners with technology.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands has introduced and promotes
the web casting of Council services to increase public
involvement in the civic life of the district. Planning      Staffordshire Moorlands
meetings are of particular interest to residents and
communities and a priority for web casting.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Virtual District Strategy has been
built around a strong community consultation – the
community have been involved at the outset in the               Stratford-Upon-Avon
development of the digital inclusion strategy and
initiatives.
It is particularly difficult for some in rural communities to
attend and get involved in town hall business, or for
older people and single mums to attend at a convenient
time. Stratford-Upon-Avon has developed the                     Stratford-Upon-Avon
technology for people to remotely attend town hall
meetings – not only to see the video but to submit live
questions remotely.
Solihull Community Housing’s website allows tenants to
discuss issues directly related to them and their local
environment. There are online polls for local issues,
forums and a "webchat" facility where residents can             Solihull
share views on any matters of concern to them. This
system in underpinned by a free home internet access
scheme supplemented by support and training.
Sunderland support a network of Community of Interest
web sites to give community groups new ways of                  Sunderland
expressing themselves and communicating their views.
Independent advisory groups have been established in
Sunderland to represent the views of the most excluded
                                                                Sunderland
individuals and communities during the development of
its digital inclusion strategy.
Stratford-Upon-Avon makes use of social networking
                                                                Stratford-Upon-Avon
applications such as Twitter to engage younger people.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider implementing interactive town hall meetings where residents can view
    meetings virtually but also can submit live questions.
-   Consider a digital mentors approach to empowering individuals and communities
    by giving those citizens who feel 'voiceless' or 'unheard' new tools to express
    their views and collaborate on issues of relevance to them – particularly through
    community videos.
-   Consider good practice approaches to using technology to support a continuous
    and ongoing dialogue with vulnerable residents and disadvantaged communities.
Customer Centred Design

Services users are at the heart of service transformation and design.
                              The authority practices customer centred service
                              design. It encourages local participation in the way
                              public and voluntary services are run and developed.
                              It takes effective steps to understand and address the
Description                   needs of citizens and communities, especially those
                              who are vulnerable or socially excluded. Service users
                              are involved in the service design process. This is
                              facilitated by technology so that service users are able
                              to participate in a way that is convenient to them.
                              Are service users significantly involved in service
                              design and transformation?
                              Are processes in place to ensure that this happens as
                              the norm rather than the exception?
                              In what ways are services users engaged in the design
                              process?
                              Is technology used to facilitated and encourage
Questions to Consider         services users to participate in service design?
                              Are there any clear examples of service
                              transformations particularly focused on vulnerable
                              users and communities?
                              Are there clear examples of vulnerable users been
                              involved in service design? If so, how?
                              Are there any clear examples where service user
                              involvement has led to service change?
                              Beacons are committed to transforming and improving
                              services for the most vulnerable as well as the
                              mainstream population. They implement good practice
Beacon Approach               ‘co-design’ and ‘co-development’ processes to ensure
                              services users are at the heart of service
                              transformation. They are skilled at involving vulnerable
                              groups and communities in service design.
Beacons Example(s)
Young people are on the steering board and user forum
for Sunderland’s Lets Go Card, a cashless card for
young people to access local services. They helped to       Sunderland
design the service and continue to help to enhance the
service and market it to their peers.
Solihull Community Housing involved residents at every
stage from design, planning, procurement, testing and
installation of an interactive CCTV for high-rise blocks.
                                                            Solihull
This approach ensured a strong sense of ownership by
the community and acceptance of a service, which
might otherwise have been rejected as too intrusive.
Staffordshire Moorlands works particularly closely with
people with physical and sensory disabilities to focus      Staffordshire Moorlands
services around their needs.
Staffordshire Moorlands makes use of third party
agencies to reach and involve minority communities in   Staffordshire Moorlands
service development.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider engaging a Local Improvement Advisor (LIA) through your REIP who
    can support on transformational government to assist in user centred design
    processes.
-   Review Cabinet Office guidance on user centred design techniques.
Inclusive Channel Strategies

Inclusive channel strategies to ensure all benefit from technology enabled service
improvements.
                              The authority adopts inclusive channel strategies to
                              ensure equality of service delivery and that everyone
Description
                              benefits from service improvements, including the
                              digitally and socially excluded.
                              Are channel strategies based on risk mitigation? i.e. the
                              focus is on providing face to face and phone ‘safety
                              nets’ for the digitally excluded?
                              Or are channel strategies actively grasping the
                              opportunities associated with technology and delivering
                              better services to the digitally and socially excluded as
                              well? e.g. using intermediated access, home access,
Questions to Consider
                              digital TV, games consoles, mobile service centres,
                              kiosks and screens in key community locations etc.
                              Are the efficiency gains of channel shifting the majority,
                              being used to improve traditional services for the few?
                              Are channels readily accessible for those with specific
                              disadvantages e.g. poor language and literacy skills,
                              disabilities etc?
                              Beacons ensure a mixed, multi-channel approach to
                              service delivery. They reject the notion that those who
                              are socially and digitally excluded should just stick to
                              traditional channels. They adopt creative channel
                              strategies specifically for vulnerable groups and
                              communities ensure the benefits of service
                              improvements are delivered to all. Beacons also
Beacon Approach
                              ensure channels are accessible to those with specific
                              disabilities or language needs. This includes traditional
                              channels as well as electronic channels. Beacons
                              make use of simpler language and more easily
                              recognised symbols and illustrations in communicating
                              information and in the delivery of self-service
                              applications
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands has developed its telephone
system so as to automatically give priority to calls from
citizens identified as vulnerable and promote them to       Staffordshire Moorlands
the front of the queue. This is based on information
stored in its CRM system.
Staffordshire Moorlands has implemented Joint
Pensions Visiting Teams, facilitated jointly by the
Council's benefit service and the Pensions Service, and
supported by appropriate technology. This provides a        Staffordshire Moorlands
one stop, holistic welfare benefits service to the older
members of the community, and particularly those in the
most isolated areas.
Solihull Community Housing has developed an inclusive
channel strategy for its Choice Based Lettings (CBL)
system. Applicants can bid for a house via the internet
in the community or at home (through recycled PCs).
Staff and partners have been trained to help applicants
                                                               Solihull
access the service and deliver mediated access to
electronic services. It is also possible to bid via mobile
phones and digital TV. Take-up is very high among an
audience that is traditionally highly digitally and socially
excluded.
Village Liaison Officers in Stratford-Upon-Avon visit the
elderly and deliver a whole range of services. They
                                                               Stratford-Upon-Avon
provide mediated, face-to-face access to electronic
services.
In Stratford-Upon-Avon homeless people can access
and add to their personal records via computers in any         Stratford Upon Avon
day centre they use.
The FLAME bus is a mobile office, which visits villages
and towns across South Warwickshire taking public
services to residents' doorsteps; it focuses on the            Stratford Upon Avon
communities in those parts of the district where access
to services could be improved.
Contact centre staff for Stratford-Upon-Avon District
Council can press a button to ask the caller in different
languages which language they are speaking. This then          Stratford-Upon-Avon
enables them to be routed to someone who can deal
with that language.
Staffordshire Moorlands conducts periodic Rural Access
Road Shows aimed at promoting the different access             Staffordshire Moorlands
channels to the services of the council and its partners.
Staffordshire Moorlands has introduced the use of SMS
text messaging to contact people who are hard of               Staffordshire Moorlands
hearing to support specific claims.
Staffordshire Moorlands subscribes to Browsealoud
which enables visitors to its website to have web pages
read aloud. Visitors to the website can download the
Browsealoud software free of charge. The software              Staffordshire Moorlands
makes using the internet easier for people who have:
low literacy and reading skills, English as a second
language, dyslexia or mild visual impairments.
Staffordshire Moorlands council offices, public buildings
and one-stop shops provide free internet access for
residents, visitors and businesses. Users are able to          Staffordshire Moorlands
access information and request council services
electronically.
Staffordshire Moorlands council has partnered with local
post offices for the provision of council services like
                                                               Staffordshire Moorlands
parking permits and council tax payment to improve
service access in remote areas.
Other Approaches
Pointers for Action

-   New guidance is being developed on inclusive channel strategies for central
    government departments in time for departments to develop their own inclusive
    channel strategies by spring 2010. Consider reviewing your channel strategy to
    ensure it is inclusive and supports the most marginalised people and
    communities. Ensure equity is considered alongside efficiency and effectiveness
    and other targets like avoidable contact. Draw on relevant parts of central
    government guidance when it emerges and the good practice examples of the
    Beacons and other local authorities.
-   Consider services like Starthere which offers very simple local electronic
    signposting to telephone and face to face services – especially designed for
    those in crisis and with poor language and literacy skills.
-   Share your examples of how you have delivered more equitable services through
    inclusive channel strategies.
Community, Skills and Capacity

Beacon local authorities clearly recognise the importance and benefits of supporting
disadvantaged residents and communities to gain access to ICT and the skills to
use it. They also recognise the essential services that the third sector provides to
the hardest to reach and that helping the sector to make best use of technology is
another route to improving the quality and reach of services.
Individuals ICT Skills and Support

ICT and ICT enabled service skills for disadvantaged individuals and communities.
                             The authority strongly supports individuals and
                             communities in acquiring the essential skills required to
                             participate in the knowledge society and access ICT
                             enabled services. It delivers essential ICT skills to
Description                  increase the self-sufficiency and independence of
                             vulnerable groups and those in disadvantaged
                             communities. Alongside the new skills, the authority
                             also facilitates both community and home access to
                             new technologies for the most disadvantaged.
                             Is there a clear strategy in place, backed by action to
                             improve the ICT related life skills of disadvantaged
                             communities and residents?
                             Is free, practical and informal ICT learning available for
                             residents – were there is no obligation to take tests and
                             exams?
                             Are there clear pathways between informal and formal
Questions to Consider
                             learning around ICT?
                             Is there training and awareness raising in place to
                             support residents and communities accessing public
                             and third sector services via ICT?
                             Is there are strategy in place, backed by action, to
                             improve access to technology for disadvantaged
                             residents both in the community and at home?
                             Beacons place a significant priority on helping
                             residents access and use technology. There is a broad
                             range of approaches. Beacons identify community focal
                             points and provide services there, e.g. village halls,
                             community centres, post offices, pubs. They are also
                             effective at embedding ICT in community and adult
                             learning programmes in a cross-cutting way, e.g.
Beacon Approach
                             making use of ICT to enhance vocational learning such
                             as arts, parenting or carpentry courses. There is an
                             emphasis on community outreach. Beacons work with
                             the community and voluntary sector to reach the most
                             disadvantaged both digitally and socially. They also
                             use mobile units that can travel to remote and rural
                             areas.
Beacons Example(s)
Virtual village halls, like the hub@blackwell near
Stratford-Upon-Avon, offer ICT training and personal
internet access in village halls, community centres,
church halls, and other community focal points. They
facilitate:
                                                           Stratford-Upon-Avon
    - learning opportunities
    - improved ICT literacy
    - access to extended public services
    - access to local information
    - independence and self-help
Sunderland has established Electronic Village Halls
(EVH) to provide ICT access and support to
                                                             Sunderland
communities. EVH models are different and tailored to
each community.
Solihull Council works with the registered social landlord
Solihull Community Housing to provide free broadband
in council-owned high-rise blocks distributed via
electrical power lines. The project is supported by the      Solihull
third sector - ReCOM who provide re-cycled PCs, and
by the Colebridge Trust, which provides training
workshops for residents.
Solihull’s Excellence in the Community is a project,
which provides a wide range of training for local people
in a deprived area via schools - including IT. It is         Solihull
promoted by learning champions, recruited locally to
encourage other local people to try the courses on offer.
Solihull has among the highest numbers of looked after
children in the country and has developed a free laptops     Solihull
scheme to support them in their education.
Staffordshire Moorlands in a partnership with Leek
college, runs an ‘e-bus’ service which demonstrating
                                                             Staffordshire Moorlands
how Council services can be accessed online to remote
rural areas.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Work with BECTA to make the most of the Home Access Initiative, which will
    enable local authorities to provide laptops to some of the most disadvantaged
    children in their area. This is an opportunity to consider how to use the additional
    resources to reach even more young people, and also the use the technology to
    deliver essential services and learning resources to their parents and wide
    families.
-   As Digital Switchover approaches work with Digital Outreach to support some of
    your oldest residents to get access to the internet and other ICT enabled
    services.
-   For older people consider working with organisations like Digital Unite who are
    experts in supporting older people especially in a sheltered housing contexts and
    through intergenerational activities. Also consider running Silver Surfer events
    each year.
-   Work with your local UK online centres to deliver support to the disadvantaged
    communities and consider getting involved in national Get Online Day.
-   Consider how best to use My Guide to support people in their first steps to using
    the internet.
Third Sector and Community Capacity Building

Supporting the third sector to help it improve services for the most vulnerable.
                               The authority works with and supports the voluntary
                               and community sector to use technology effectively.
                               This in turn helps the sector to improve the efficiency
                               and effectiveness of their services to the most
                               disadvantaged. It is recognised that the third sector can
Description
                               be a real driving force for innovation in service delivery
                               among local authorities. Technology is used to facilitate
                               an ongoing dialogue between the authority and the
                               third sector around the improvement of service delivery
                               to vulnerable groups and communities.
                               Is there a strategy, backed by action, to support key
                               third sector and community organisations to make best
                               use of technology to improve service delivery?
                               Does the authority support community organisations in
Questions to Consider
                               developing their electronic services?
                               Is technology used to develop and encourage dialogue
                               between the third sector, the authority and its partners
                               to improve services?
                               Beacons have adopted a number of approaches to
                               supporting the third sector and community groups.
                               Identifying and equipping ‘champions’ within these
                               groups with access to and the capability to use ICT is a
Beacon Approach
                               particularly successful approach. Providing shared
                               services such as web site design and hosting, and
                               communications tools for the sector is another
                               approach.
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland has recruited, and supports a network of
120 community echampions who are members of hard
to reach community groups and organisations. They             Sunderland
champion the use of the ICT enabled services to their
peers.
Sunderland supports a network of Community of
Interest Web sites for the third sector. This is a big help
to small third sector organisations. Managing their own       Sunderland
web sites can save money especially the many small
charges associated with tiny changes.
Stratford-Upon-Avon has developed a community web
site service for all communities accompanied by a £5k
grant for each community organisation. This has               Stratford-Upon-Avon
significantly increased involvement and engagement of
those organisations.
Sunderland has developed new communications and
partnership tools to support community organisations
and third sector partners to interact more effectively and    Sunderland
efficiently together and with the council - Hexagon and
Flashmeeting.
The Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) is a key
partner for Stratford-Upon-Avon. The shared digital
strategy supports the third sector by enabling the more
                                                            Stratford-Upon-Avon
accurate targeting of residents and communities in most
need. This allows the third sector to co-ordinate and
focus their resources where it will have most impact.
Other Approaches
The DC10Plus network of local authorities is creating a
framework to support the exchange of good practice
between Community and Voluntary organisations, other        DC10Plus
partners and Local Authorities fully supported by
technology.
The City of London IS division recycles PCs and
equipment back in the community locations for use by
residents, and provides some maintenance support. It        City of London
also uses spare capacity such as desktop training
expertise, for employees, to support residents as well.
Pointers for Action

-   Consider a shared service approach to supporting the community and voluntary
    sector e.g. Stratford-Upon-Avon’s approach to extending the councils content
    management system to community organisations and parish councils for web
    sites, or the City of London’s approach to making some in-house desktop training
    resources available to the community.
-   Consider tools, which facilitate closer working and improved communication
    between the council and the community and voluntary sector. Tools like Hexagon
    and Flashmeeting and e-voice.
-   Talk to the organisations like Charity Technology Trust a social enterprise with a
    mission to demonstrate how the effective use of technology can improve the
    effectiveness and efficiency of charities and voluntary organisations.
-   Make use of private sector community capacity building tools and raise
    awareness among local community sector organisations of their availability. For
    example BT Community Connections grants and donated equipment and low
    cost software licenses available through the Charity Trust Exchange.
-   Consider running a community ICT/ Everybody Online project partnering with
    Citizens Online.
Essential Partnerships
All the most effective and successful examples of social and digital inclusion
initiatives involve partnership working. This is because it is the most excluded who
often fall between gaps in provision between services providers. Partnerships can fill
these gaps across organisational and geographic boundaries of responsibility.
Partnerships across the public, private and third sector are essential. Registered
Social Landlords (RSLs) have a particularly important role to play in digital and social
inclusion.
Public Sector

Beacon local authorities work well with other local authorities and through tiers of
local government to the benefit of vulnerable groups and isolated communities. They
recognise how technology can facilitate joint working across organisational and
geographic boundaries to fill gaps in provision and to share services, which increases
efficiency, effectiveness and equity. They work in partnership with wider public
organisations on digital and social inclusion initiatives – such as Primary Care
Trusts (PCTs), Police, Fire Service, Job Centre Plus, FE colleges, schools etc.



Local Authorities

Working with other local authorities and across boundaries to improve services for
the most vulnerable.
                              The authority works across tiers of local government,
                              with neighbouring and other councils to support
                              vulnerable residents and ensure that their needs do not
Description                   fall between gaps. Technology plays an important role
                              in facilitating this partnership working. The authority
                              works with others to share good practice on the socially
                              inclusive use of technology.
                              What partnerships are in place with neighbouring
                              authorities specifically relating to serving vulnerable
                              groups and preventing them falling between gaps in
                              service provision?
                              Does technology support these partnerships?
Questions to Consider         Are there any clear examples of the results of these
                              partnerships?
                              Any examples of service delivery across tiers of
                              authorities?
                              Are there any examples of shared services across local
                              authority boundaries that benefit vulnerable groups?
                              Beacon Authorities have developed links with Parish
                              Councils to promote and facilitate locations from which
                              access to services can be delivered to the community
                              by electronic means. There is significant co-operation
Beacon Approach
                              with neighbouring LAs particularly on joint procurement
                              and shared services. Some of the beacons are also
                              members of a local authority network on digital
                              inclusion – the DC10.
Beacons Example(s)
Stratford-Upon-Avon uses a common Customer
Relationship Management (CRM) system, procured by
all the districts, boroughs and the county council in
                                                           Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwickshire (6 authorities in total). All Warwickshire
authorities are able to share not only the services but
also a single view of customers and their interactions.
Staffordshire Moorlands Council has developed a
strategic partnership with neighbouring High Peak
Borough Council. This provides a unique opportunity for
two small councils, operating across regional                 Staffordshire Moorlands
boundaries, to create a joined-up strategy that will
tackle the issues around digital exclusion by sharing
approaches, technology and standards.
Staffordshire Moorlands has worked through
Staffordshire Connects, a partnership of local authorities
across Staffordshire, to procure and develop a common         Staffordshire Moorlands
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and e-
payments system.
Staffordshire Moorlands is working closely with the
county council to deliver each others services through
                                                              Staffordshire Moorlands
their separate networks of community locations in order
to increase the reach of services efficiently.
Stratford-Upon-Avon has helped local parishes to
acquire ICT and develop their own websites. The
council opens up its own Content Management System
                                                              Stratford-Upon-Avon
(CMS) to parishes, provides an appropriate gov.uk web
address, email accounts, templates and the necessary
support to access and update their own website.
Other Approaches
The DC10Plus network of local authorities is a group of
local authorities committed to sharing ideas and
                                                              DC10Plus
solutions around digital inclusion. It is open to any local
authority to join.
Pointers for Action

-   Consider working with or joining the DC10Plus network of local authorities to
    share good practice on digital inclusion.
-   Consider a shared service approach to digital inclusion initiatives or to enabling
    infrastructure like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Content
    Management Systems (CMS). For advice on shared services consider engaging
    a Local Improvement Advisor (LIA) through your REIP who can support on
    transformational government issues.
Social Housing Sector

Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) have an essential role to play in tackling social
and digital exclusion.
                              The authority recognises the strong role that RSLs can
                              play in social and digital exclusion. Some 70% of
                              people living in social housing are digitally excluded
Description                   many are socially disadvantaged e.g. estimates are
                              that 60% are financially excluded. The authority works
                              closely with RSLs on joint initiatives to achieve digital
                              and social inclusion.
                              Are RSLs within the area aware of the issues around
                              digital exclusion?
                              Are there any joint initiatives council/ RSL initiatives to
Questions to Consider
                              tackle digital exclusion in the area?
                              Any initiatives and work with sheltered housing for
                              older people?
                              Beacon authorities have very productive partnerships
                              with housing associations to reach disadvantaged
                              people and communities. In some cases the housing
                              association is a lead partner on the digital inclusion
Beacon Approach               strategy. Beacons work with RSLs on a range if
                              services including: providing low cost internet access,
                              training, electronic choice based lettings, electronic
                              repair requests, Anti-social-behaviour reporting, digital
                              switchover preparation and telecare support.
Beacons Example(s)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has established a
strong partnership with Solihull Community Housing
(SCH). SCH are on the local strategic partnership (LSP)      Solihull
and deliver many of the digital inclusion projects in the
LSPs strategy.
Sunderland has established a Telecare partnership to
support it’s Fair Access to Care services (FACS) policy.
                                                             Sunderland
Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) are a key part of
this partnership.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is partnering with Orbit Heart of
England housing association on an intergenerational
project. The project involves students from a local
grammar school visiting residents from two sheltered
                                                             Stratford-Upon-Avon
housing schemes once a week in a scheme called
Buddy Buddy. The scheme helps residents get to grips
with basic computer skills such as sending emails and
surfing the internet as well as using the Nintendo Wii.
Other Approaches
Pointers for Action

-   Registered Social Landlords are required to update aerial systems during digital
    switchover. This is an opportunity to upgrade to more sophisticated integrated
    receiver systems that can deliver Internet based services. It is worth considering
    the options with your RSLs and there is some excellent guidance available from
    Digital UK.
-   Consider the many opportunities to deliver electronic services through the
    internet, mobile phones and digital TV to housing association tenants. In
    particular: choice based lettings, repair requests, anti-social behaviour reporting,
    neighbourhood watch, community forums and telecare.
-   Some RSLs provide community based ICT access and have also become UK
    online centres – consider talking to one of these about how to fund and create a
    new centre.
Wider Public Sector

Working with wider public agencies to improve reach, effectiveness and efficiency of
services.
                               The authority works with wider public organisations on
                               digital and social inclusion initiatives – such as Primary
                               Care Trusts (PCTs), Police, Fire Service, Job Centre
                               Plus, FE colleges, Schools, Connexions etc. The
                               authority particularly works to ensure that frontline
                               workers in these wider public sector organisations
Description
                               understand the benefits of ICT, have the skills and
                               simple tools to use it in their day job and are able to act
                               as ICT advocates to the people and communities they
                               work with. This includes mediated service delivery
                               where the frontline staff have remote/mobile access to
                               the services on behalf of their clients.
                               To what extent are wider public sector partners aware
                               of digital exclusion as a social issue and barrier to
                               service delivery? (e.g. Primary Care Trusts (PCTs),
                               Police, probation service Fire Service, Job Centre Plus,
                               FE colleges, schools, libraries etc)
                               How are wider public sector organisations: contributing
Questions to Consider          towards digital inclusion? Benefiting from digital
                               inclusion?
                               How is the capacity and capability of front line workers
                               being supported to contribute and benefit from ICT, and
                               to pass the benefits onto vulnerable people in their
                               care? (e.g. health visitors, community wardens,
                               probation officers, social workers)
                               Beacon authorities work closely with wider public
                               sector partners on the development and delivery of the
                               digital strategy and vision. Wider public sector partners
                               benefit from the delivery of the strategy and participate
Beacon Approach                actively in initiatives. There is particular attention paid
                               to front line workers – giving them the tools they need
                               to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, and also
                               giving them ICT skills and confidence so that they can
                               be advocates to their clients.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands council has partnered with the
Primary Care Trust (PCT) for the location of a web kiosk      Staffordshire Moorlands
in a local village health centre.
Staffordshire Moorlands council employ Leek College
students in the development of its web site to give it less
                                                              Staffordshire Moorlands
of a local authority feel and make it more available to
those who might not otherwise use it.
The West Midlands NHS Trust is an important partner
and beneficiary in Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Virtual District
strategy. Virtual District Customer Relationship
Management (CRM) records available to ambulance
                                                               Stratford-Upon-Avon
control staff will reduce the high levels of unnecessary
ambulance journeys and provide a more effective
response to patients needs by integrating services
across health, voluntary and social care.
Solihull Community Housing has trained staff in partner
organisations such as libraries, housing associations,
youth centres and drug rehabilitation centres on how to        Solihull
use its electronic choice based letting system so that
they can in turn help their clients.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is working closely with the
Warwickshire Police on its Virtual District strategy. The
strategy enables enhanced engagement particularly
with excluded rural communities and hard to reach
groups through new modern channels and a mobile
                                                               Stratford-Upon-Avon
police station. Improved information sharing around
issues such as witness appeals, crime prevention
advice and good news stories should have a real impact
on public reassurance, crime reduction and detection
and community cohesion.
Staffordshire Moorlands actively supports frontline
workers in accessing new skills. In one case a member
of the benefits service undertook 'skills for life' training
                                                               Staffordshire Moorlands
and now has become responsible for identifying
technology training needs of internal staff and the needs
of the customers that the benefits team serve.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider presentations to the local strategic partnership and other key groups
    like the crime and disorder reduction partnership on the issues and opportunities
    around socially inclusive use of technology. Involve these wider public sector
    organisations in the development of your digital strategy.
-   Consider how extended schools can provide access to ICT and training for
    communities.
-   Share the projects that you have implemented with wider public sector
    organisations on Solutions4inclusion.
Third Sector

Beacon local authorities work well in partnership with the third sector and
community groups to improve service delivery and to increase digital inclusion
among the most excluded



Third Sector Service Providers

Working with the third sector, as trusted intermediaries, to achieve digital inclusion
and improved services for the most disadvantaged.
                               The authority works with the voluntary and community
                               sector on digital and social inclusion initiatives.
                               Reaching the most disadvantaged people and
                               communities, and helping them to benefit from
Description                    technology and ICT-enabled services through these
                               organisations and their frontline workers. The authority
                               particularly listens to third sector services providers and
                               is willing to change service delivery models in response
                               to recommendations from the third sector.
                               To what extent are third sector partners aware of digital
                               exclusion as a social issue and barrier to service
                               delivery?
                               How are third sector organisations: contributing
Questions to Consider
                               towards digital inclusion? and benefiting from digital
                               inclusion?
                               Is the third sector helping people to access any
                               electronic services?
                               Beacon authorities are working closely with the third
                               sector on digital inclusion initiatives particularly to
                               provide ICT access and training to disadvantaged
Beacon Approach
                               groups. In some cases the third sector is a key partner
                               in the overall digital inclusion strategy and benefiting
                               from the delivery of the strategy.
Beacons Example(s)
Sunderland has established a partnership with Age
                                                             Sunderland
Concern to deliver ICT training within libraries.
The Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) is a key
partner for Stratford-Upon-Avon. The shared digital
strategy provides the means for needs to be more
                                                             Stratford Upon Avon
accurately assessed and to allow the third sector to co-
ordinate and concentrate their resources to the people
and areas in most urgent need.
Solihull Community Housing provides free broadband in
council-owned high-rise blocks distributed via electrical
power lines. The project is supported by the third sector
                                                             Solihull
- ReCOM who provide re-cycled PCs, and by the
Colebridge Trust, which provides training workshops for
residents.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Some national third sector organisations have strong digital inclusion
    programmes and use technology in socially inclusive ways. Consider partnering
    with these national organisations on local initiatives e.g. Digital Unite, Community
    Service Volunteers, Digital Outreach, Citizens Online, UK online centres and Age
    Concern
Private Sector

Beacon local authorities manage the social and digital exclusion risks around private
sector products and services, as well as harnessing the opportunities to work
closely with local businesses on joint digital and social inclusion initiatives.



Private Sector Service Providers

Working with national and local businesses to enhance digital and social inclusion.
                              The authority works to ensure that local products and
                              services delivered by the private sector are inclusive -
                              especially those commissioned or inspected by the
                              public sector. The authority also works closely with
                              local and national businesses on digital and social
                              inclusion initiatives for example: harnessing employee
Description                   volunteering schemes, reusing infrastructure and spare
                              capacity and recycling ICT equipment back into the
                              community. The authority works with local business to
                              reach out to digitally excluded employees and their
                              families with equipment or training and support.
                              Opportunities for the private sector to act as a delivery
                              channel for public services are also explored.
                              Do any relevant ICT or service contracts with the
                              private sector have digital and social inclusion
                              objectives or clauses?
                              Are there working relationships with local
                              communications companies to help to fill gaps in
                              broadband, Wifi or other comms provision (notspots)?
                              Is the authority making use of free national schemes
                              provided by national businesses?
Questions to Consider
                              Are there any clear examples of working with local
                              businesses on recycling equipment or using spare
                              capacity on networks for the community?
                              Are local employee volunteers being put to use on
                              helping people to use computers, or other digital
                              inclusion initiatives?
                              Are there any examples of the private sector acting as
                              a delivery channel for complementary public services?
                              Beacon authorities have partnered with the private
                              sector in a number of ways – particularly to overcome
Beacon Approach               local market failures in broadband and communications
                              services availability in deprived urban and remote rural
                              areas.
Beacons Example(s)
Solihull has worked with the private sector, CI-Net, in a
partnership to deliver free broadband in high-rise
blocks. As part of the project CI-Net were able to use
Solihull housing as a test-bed for delivering cutting
edge, low cost ‘powerline’ broadband services. The          Solihull
council were able to introduce broadband competition in
areas where traditional communications companies
were not interested in going. And residents benefited
from free, and then cheap broadband.
Stratford-Upon-Avon DC is helping to improve
broadband access by establishing Virtual Village Halls
in rural communities. This not only provides community
                                                            Stratford-Upon-Avon
access but also stimulates private sector broadband
provision to meet demand for home access in these
communities.
Stratford-Upon-Avon DC is partnering with BT to find
                                                            Stratford-Upon-Avon
ways to tackle rural broadband connectivity issues.
Sunderland has developed the Lets Go Card for young
people. This is based on a highly effective public-
private partnership. The card provides access to public     Sunderland
and private sector services available through both public
and private sector outlets.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Make use of private sector community capacity building tools. For example BT
    Community Connections grants and donated equipment and low cost software
    licenses available through the Charity Trust Exchange. There are other free
    schemes such as IBMs Reading Companion which helps people adults and
    children with their reading and pronunciation.
-   Other companies particularly IT companies such as Cisco, Microsoft and Intel all
    have digital inclusion programmes. It is particularly worthwhile approaching those
    companies that hold major IT contracts with the council to see how they can
    extend some support to the community.
-   There a many ways that business can help beyond donating equipment and
    resources. For example employee volunteering has worked well in a number of
    digital inclusion initiatives – so consider approaching local businesses despite the
    economic climate.
Effective Partnerships
The need for broad range of partners is matched by the requirement to ensure the
foundations for effective partnership working are in place. Effective partnerships are
founded on shared objectives, shared risks and rewards and clear incentives. Smart
procurement and commissioning of services can be an important enabler for this. In
addition, data and information sharing is an essential foundation for effective
partnership working if services are to be more seamless and joined-up for those with
multiple and complex needs. It is also important to share good practice and learn
from partners, making it a priority to transfer successful initiatives when this is clearly
more efficient and effective than ‘re-inventing’ them locally.
Partnership Foundations

Beacon authorities recognise that effective partnership working is essential to
achieving social and digital inclusion. Effective partnerships are founded on shared
objectives, shared risks and rewards. Technology itself can be an enabler and
catalyst for more effective partnership working. Beacon authorities also commission
services in a smart way to manage the risks around deepening exclusion and to
actively encourage greater inclusion.



Shared Objectives and Priorities

Partnerships are based on shared objectives, risks and rewards.
                              The authority fully recognises that partnership working
                              is essential for achieving both social and digital
                              inclusion. The authority promotes effective social and
Description                   digital inclusion partnerships were there are shared
                              objectives and priorities and shared risks and rewards.
                              The authority also recognises that technology can be
                              an enabler for more effective partnerships.
                              What is the structure of existing partnerships for digital
                              and social inclusion projects?
                              Is risk/ reward shared and are partnerships balanced?
                              Are partnerships sustainable or based on temporary
Questions to Consider         goodwill?
                              Are the right incentives in place for each partner to
                              overcome the inevitable delivery obstacles and
                              hurdles?
                              Is success in all partners’ interests?
                              Beacons have adopted a variety of approaches to
                              cement partnerships and ensure shared risks, rewards
                              and objectives. In one case a new legal entity has been
                              established to take joint actions forward, and in others
                              digital inclusion has been aligned to the very clear,
Beacon Approach
                              measureable goals and objectives of a Crime and
                              Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). For digital
                              inclusion strategies Beacons involve partners at an
                              early stage of development, through approval and
                              delivery.
Beacons Example(s)
Solihull has established a formal partnership around the
regeneration of the north of the borough. The North
Solihull Regeneration Partnership is a limited liability
partnership between the council, developers,
                                                            Solihull
Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and investors. The
partners share ambitions regeneration objectives over a
15-year period and digital inclusion forms part of this
overall approach to regeneration.
Stratford Upon Avon developed its ‘Virtual district’
Digital Inclusion strategy with a primary aim to build and
develop partnerships through the strategy development
process itself. The strategy is now governed by a
                                                             Stratford Upon Avon
partnership board and by being involved from the start
all partners share the same vision and have a clear
stake its delivery. Partnership working extends from the
board down to individual project working groups.
Solihull Community Housing (SCH) interactive CCTV
systems main goals were to improve the local living
environment for residents. The system is successfully
delivering against the shared objectives among the
different partners on the Crime and Disorder Reduction       Solihull
Partnership (CDRP). In particular, SCH and the police
have as significant shared stake in the benefits of the
system in reducing anti-social behaviour, fly tipping and
criminal damage.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Share your approaches to developing effective partnerships and ensuring shared
    objectives.
Smart Commissioning

Contracts and commissioning processes promote social and digital inclusion.
                               The authority and its partners are committed to
                               promoting digital and social inclusion through contracts,
                               commissioning and grant aid. This involves not only
                               ensuring that ‘digital inclusion’ initiatives are
Description
                               commissioned in a smart way e.g. contracting for
                               outcomes, but also ensuring that all relevant contracts
                               do not inadvertently deepen social and digital
                               exclusion.
                               Are there processes in place to ensure that:
                                  a) ICT or service contracts do not inadvertently lead
                                      to exclusion for individuals or communities
                                  b) Opportunities to enhance digital inclusion are
Questions to Consider                 built into contract.
                               Is good practice followed when working with the third
                               sector – for example contracting for outcomes?
                               Are those affected by the procurement involved in the
                               decision in some way e.g. residents?
                               Beacons have adopted processes, which assess the
                               opportunities and risks with major procurements
                               associated with digital and social exclusion. There are
Beacon Approach
                               also initiatives to involve people in procurement
                               decisions – particularly when it is for a service that they
                               will eventually receive.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands has developed and inclusive
procurement process which rigorously checks each
procurement before contracts are awarded and looks for
opportunities to promote social inclusion and digital        Staffordshire Moorlands
inclusion through contracts. For example designing
community ICT infrastructure into a major contract to
build 100 new affordable homes.
Solihull Community Housing registered social landlord,
involves tenants in decisions around staff recruitment       Solihull
and the procurement of large contracts.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Consider how to implement simple processes to review authority contracts for
    their capacity to deepen digital/ social exclusion and for opportunities to increase
    inclusion. Discuss Staffordshire Moorlands approach with them.
-   Consider the OGC guidance on Social Issues in Purchasing which covers issues
    around equality, fair trade etc.
Data Sharing

Beacon local authorities recognise the benefits to service delivery of sharing
personal information with partners. They make the effort to overcome
organisational and cultural barriers to data sharing and operate within strict policy
frameworks, against clear standards and to agreed protocols. Less sensitive
aggregated ‘non-personal’ data is also shared between partners to improve the
targeting of services.



Non-Personal Data Sharing

Partners share aggregated ‘non-personal’ data to improve services.
                               The authority works with partner agencies to share
                               non-personal, aggregate level information on
                               customers in order to: improve the targeting of services
                               and to increase engagement with excluded groups and
Description
                               individuals. Aggregate level information (e.g. numbers
                               of people on a street claiming a specific benefit) is
                               useful enough for partners to take focussed action
                               without having to share private data any individuals.
                               Is information routinely shared between partner
                               agencies and the local authority?
                               Are partners willing and open to sharing insight and
                               expertise?
                               Is CRM data routinely analysed to improve services?
Questions to Consider          Is data from CRM systems aggregated and shared with
                               partners?
                               Is there in-house GIS expertise to map data and
                               improve services?
                               Are the GIS services of a local data observatory used
                               to improve services?
                               Beacons make significant use of their information
                               assets and share these with partners to improve the
                               targeting of a wide variety of services such as fire
                               safety and benefits. In many cases partners’ data is
Beacon Approach                brought together on maps – so an in-house GIS team
                               can play an important role in facilitating the sharing of
                               non-personal data. Some beacons share the
                               information beyond immediate partnerships and publish
                               it to make it available to the community for reuse.
Beacons Example(s)
Staffordshire Moorlands Council has worked with its
partners in the Moorlands Together Local Strategic
Partnership to use information assets to identify priority
areas suffering from deprivation. In each area a
                                                             Staffordshire Moorlands
neighbourhood partnership has been established to
share local knowledge and data, consult communities,
establish a shared plan of action and to deliver agreed
outcomes and activities.
Staffordshire Moorlands benefit team has cross-
referenced key data about benefit queries from its CRM
system with the age profile and areas of deprivation in
the district. They shared this information with               Staffordshire Moorlands
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue who identified areas to
provide free home fire risk checks with free smoke
alarms fitted for those eligible.
Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Deprivation Mapping supports
partnership working. For example the Social Inclusion
Team has worked with the Revenues Service to specify
information requirements, IT specialists and software
developers to extract that information as meaningful          Stratford-Upon-Avon
data, the Council's GIS team to take that data and make
it spatially enabled and therefore presenting the data as
intelligent maps. This approach has allowed service
delivery targeting on a micro scale by partners.
Staffordshire Moorlands combines geographical data
and Housing/Council Tax data from its CRM system to
'map' the district and pinpoint areas of social deprivation
                                                              Staffordshire Moorlands
where benefit take-up is low. This has been shared with
partners to enable marketing and other activities in
areas identified as hot-spots of low take-up.
In addition to making extensive use of customer insight
and mapping data, Staffordshire Moorlands also places
this on its My Moorlands website for use by partners
and communities. Providing mapped data from its CRM
system, benefits system, and partners:
    - gives the councils partners an insight into the         Staffordshire Moorlands
        spread of issues within the district and enables
        more focused local partnership working
    - improves local transparency and provides
        individuals and communities with data to act
        upon the issues that affect their neighbourhood.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   There are significant resources available to support local information systems
    and information management. The resources and peer support networks
    available can help local authorities to get the most out of their information assets
    and support partnership working. A good place to start is the Local Information
    Systems community home page at the ESD tool kit.
Personal Data Sharing

Partners share personal data to improve services, but within a strict policy
framework.
                              The authority shares personal data with partner
                              agencies to deliver more tailored, accessible and
                              focused services for disadvantaged and socially
                              excluded groups. Data is shared within a robust
Description
                              framework for protecting privacy. Barriers to sharing
                              personal level data, that might otherwise undermine the
                              availability of services to residents, are systematically
                              addressed.
                              Have data sharing policies, protocols and standards
                              been agreed with partners?
                              Have staff been trained on data security and protocols?
                              Is there are culture of risk aversion to sharing data?
Questions to Consider         Has there been clear effort to tackle the organisational
                              and cultural barriers to data sharing?
                              Is data collected, shared and used on the COUNT
                              principle (collect once and use numerous times)
                              between agencies?
                              Beacon local authorities have actively worked to
                              breakdown organisational and cultural barriers to data
                              sharing. Data sharing policy has been developed, data
Beacon Approach
                              sharing standards are agreed at a technical level and
                              clear protocols are agreed between partners. These
                              are regularly evaluated and reviewed.
Beacons Example(s)
Data sharing protocols have been established and
agreed across the local strategic partnership in            Stratford-Upon-Avon
Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Solihull Community Housing has established a good
partnership with the council around financial inclusion.
Families who are in rent arrears are signposted to
support partners such as Citizens Advice Bureau, the        Solihull
Debt Team and Benefits Teams. Similarly when a
council tax recovery process in commenced – residents
are also signposted to support services.
Stratford-Upon-Avon uses a common CRM system with
six other local authorities. All Warwickshire authorities
are able to share a single view of customers and their
                                                            Stratford-Upon-Avon
interactions. This has broken down many of the barriers
that existed before and helped to develop a common
approach to service delivery across the authorities.
Cabinet and backbench members in Staffordshire
Moorlands are active in leading a variety of community
partnerships and are key to overcoming the barriers to      Staffordshire Moorlands
information sharing which prevent the improvement of
services for those in most need.
Staffordshire Moorlands has helped to establish the
Staffordshire Multi-Agency Joint protocol for information
exchange. It is a framework for the exchange of
                                                            Staffordshire Moorlands
information between partners and a foundation for the
improvement of working practices. It has facilitated a
number of joint initiatives with the Police.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Read the latest research and guidance on data sharing. The research examines
    how local strategic partnerships across England are sharing data, and presents
    barriers to and benefits data sharing.
Knowledge and Good Practice Sharing

Beacons authorities are skilled at sharing good practice and learning in innovative
and effective ways. They are recognised and have reputations for good practice in
digital inclusion through awards and high levels of awareness within local
government of their successful initiatives. Importantly they also recognise the
importance of learning from others and transferring successful initiatives rather than
re-inventing them locally.



Shared Learning

Sharing with and learning from other organisations.
                              The authority actively, and effectively shares
                              successful initiatives with other organisations. The
                              authority also learns from others, with reuse of the
Description
                              successful and appropriate initiatives of others,
                              prioritised over the development of new home-grown
                              initiatives.
                              Are there clear examples of successful digital inclusion
                              initiatives that have been shared widely?
                              How innovative are the approaches to sharing
                              successful practice?
Questions to Consider         Are there any examples of other organisations
                              transferring successful initiatives from or to the
                              authority?
                              Has the organisation bid for awards for projects and
                              programmes?
                              Beacons where innovative in their sharing of good
                              practice during the beacon process – using a mix of
Beacon Approach
                              ‘market places’, testimony from users, customer
                              journeys, tours of initiatives and video.
Beacons Example(s)
In 2007 Stratford-on-Avon entered the Digital Challenge
competition, and was a national top ten finalist and
became part of the DC10 partnership of local
authorities, a group formed specifically to tackle digital
                                                             Stratford Upon Avon
exclusion and share good practice. The DC10 is now
the DC10plus and open to any local authority. The
group shares projects in innovative ways such as Living
Labs.
In 2008 Solihull entered a bid for the digital inclusion
beacon. Good practice projects where shared through
an open ‘market place’ enabling full an open                 Solihull
discussions with project owners alongside
demonstrations.
Sunderland like Stratford-Upon-Avon, is a digital
challenge finalist and digital inclusion beacon. During
the course of both processes they share projects            Sunderland
through the testimony of users – an extremely effective
approach to good practice sharing.
Staffordshire Moorlands, during the digital Inclusion
Beacon process, used a creative mix of video evidence,
                                                            Staffordshire Moorlands
a tour of a one-stop shops and personal customer
journeys.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Share your projects and experiences through solutions4inclusion, the DC10Plus
    network and the digital inclusion community of practice.
-   Consider a peer transfer project from a beacon, or to another local authority.
Evidenced Outcomes
Ultimately success is measured by clear and visible activity on the ground combined
with quantative and/or qualitative evidence that these are benefiting the most
disadvantaged residents and communities


Innovative Action

Beacon authorities have clear evidence of significant digital and social inclusion
activity on the ground for the most disadvantaged communities and residents. These
activities are innovative in the sense that they represent new ways of working or
living, enabled by technology.



Clear and Visible Activity

Significant visible projects on the ground for the most disadvantaged.
                                 The authority has clear evidence of significant digital
                                 and social inclusion activity on the ground for the most
                                 disadvantaged communities and residents. The
                                 activities are transformational and innovative in the
                                 broadest sense, for example:
Description                          - there is an element of novelty and change, a
                                         break from established practice
                                     - technology has supported new ways of working
                                         or living, helped frontline workers, improved
                                         access to services or created new services that
                                         did not exist before
                                 Is there significant activity that can be shown to others?
                                 Is this activity significant in terms of scale or scope?
Questions to Consider
                                 Are the activities genuinely focussed on the most
                                 disadvantaged people and communities?
                                 Beacons have clear evidence of innovative activities
Beacon Approach                  which are significant in scale and scope, and focused
                                 on the most vulnerable.
Beacons Example(s)
The Lets Go Card is a cashless card in Sunderland for
young people to access activities across a host of public
and private sector providers. Its key aims are social:
increase educational engagement, broaden participation         Sunderland
in activities, encourage young people to try something
different. Over 1000 young people have the cards and
1000s of activities have been accessed.
Sunderland is using Telecare/ telehealth to prevent
people moving from low levels of need to critical levels
of need. In 2008 16,000 homes had been connected               Sunderland
and 20,000, predominantly older and more vulnerable
people, supported.
Solihull provides free broadband in council-owned high-
rise blocks distributed via electrical power lines. This
has been installed in 6 tower blocks so far with the         Solihull
ambition to extend to 42 tower blocks covering 400
families.
Solihull has installed interactive CCTV in 42 multi-story
blocks, combining CCTV with door access and fob
management databases. The CCTV supports concierge            Solihull
style services for all residents as well as helping to
challenge people creating nuisance or causing damage.
Excellence in the Community is a £1.6m project which
provides 14 training areas in schools in the north of
Soihull, contributing to the extended schools agenda
and providing a wide range of training for local people in
                                                             Solihull
a deprived area. All school centres offer IT courses.
Over 3,000 hours of training has been delivered to over
743 learners. 79% of courses have 100% completion
rates.
Stratford-Upon-Avon DC has supported the installation
of 2,700 blood pressure monitors in the community and
27,000 community alarms and fire alarms. Work is             Stratford-Upon-Avon
progressing on temperature alarms for vulnerable older
people.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Share your projects and experiences through solutions4inclusion, the DC10Plus
    network and the digital inclusion community of practice.
-   Consider a peer transfer project from a beacon, or to another local authority.
Improve Lives and Life Chances

Beacon authorities have clear evidence in quantative and/or qualitative terms that
their actions are benefiting their most disadvantaged residents and communities.



Clear and Evidenced Social Impact

Clear evidence of improved lives and life chances for the most disadvantaged.
                             There is clear evidence that actions by the authority
                             have improved the lives and life chances of the most
Description
                             socially excluded groups - the 5-10% hardest to reach
                             in society and the 10% most deprived communities.
                             What activities have made a real difference to the
                             socially excluded adults PSA target groups: care
                             leavers, offenders, adults with learning disabilities, and
                             adults accessing secondary mental health services?
                             What activities have made a difference for domestic
                             violence sufferers, families at risk, homeless,
                             substance abusers and those not in education,
Questions to Consider        employment or training (NEET), young carers?
                             What activities have made a difference in communities
                             that are in the top or second decile for deprivation in
                             the country?
                             What is the measured difference in qualitative or
                             quantitative terms?
                             Have activities helped to improve performance against
                             targets e.g. local area agreement targets?
                             Beacons have many different details or accounts of
                             people’s personal journeys and the difference that
                             initiatives have made to their lives. Some of the most
                             powerful accounts are often around what most of us
                             take for granted – e.g. someone helped to achieve a
Beacon Approach              qualification, or someone who has managed to
                             research a medical condition online leading to
                             treatment. These journeys, and clear evidence of
                             increased ‘life chances’ and ‘opportunities’ are as
                             critical evidence of success as financial and other
                             outcomes that are too often given the higher priority.
Beacons Example(s)
Deprivation mapping of service use data by the
authorities GIS team has led directly to service and
policy delivery improvements: a targeted parenting
project for lone parents, a new luncheon voucher
scheme for older people and a bus route change to
                                                           Stratford-Upon-Avon
improve local transport for a small but densely
populated area of elderly residents. It has also
supported several Benefit Take-Up campaigns resulting
in an additional £1m in benefits being awarded to the
vulnerable and those households in most need.
Staffordshire Moorlands has managed to distribute and
                                                              Staffordshire Moorlands
additional £2m of through GIS mapping of benefits.
Staffordshire Moorlands had achieved the highest take-
up of e-planning in region though a mix of service
                                                              Staffordshire Moorlands
transformation and self-service access to e-planning in
one-stop-shops.
Age Concern ICT classes in the Bunnyhill Centre in
Sunderland have made a real difference to quality of life
of older people attending the classes. For example for
one older couple: an ex submariner has used the
internet to reconnect with old comrades and has met up        Sunderland
with them physically as well as keeping in touch
virtually. His wife has been researching her family
history – this keeps her active and she frequently travels
around churches to view records.
Sunderland supports Community of Interest Web sites
and a network of echampions within community groups.
There is clear evidence of the impact. For example it
has helped one small group, Alcohol First, become             Sunderland
more confident and creative in achieving its aims: the
group did their first radio interview - a real measure of
confidence and progress.
Solihull has clear examples of residents in social
housing progressing onto training, further education
                                                              Solihull
courses and employment because of computers and
broadband in the home.
Interactive CCTV has increased cleanliness of tower
blocks, resulted in 68% of residents feeling safer in their
homes and reducing criminal damage by 24.5%. The
                                                              Solihull
‘concierge services’ have help to improve the living
environment. There have been efficiency savings on
upkeep of tower blocks as well.
Solihull Home Options is a multi-channel choice based
lettings (CBL) system. Supported internet, Digital TV
and mobile phone access has improved access to the
CBL service. In Solihull 94% of bids for housing are now
being made over the Internet, with 93% of people
finding the bidding process easy. There are clear             Solihull
examples of older people (>75) walking to libraries to
check bids via computers their. The system has
reduced pressure on frontline staff and helped the
housing service cope with massive waiting lists –
currently 10,000.
Solihull’s has recruited local people as Learning
Champions to encourage other local people to try the
courses on offer – including ICT. Almost all of these         Solihull
champions have gone on to gain employment
elsewhere.
Sunderland’s use of telehealth and telecare is yielding
cash savings – there is a direct correlation between
telecare use and a reduction in institutional care. The
services help to preventing people ending up living
where they don’t want to live and provide piece of mind     Sunderland
to family carers. It has help to outsource less-urgent
responses to homes leaving highly trained staff to
concentrate on more appropriate work e.g. ambulance
staff are now responding to less falls.
Sunderland People First is a Community group of adults
with learning difficulties. The council has helped
members to use ICT to ‘translate’ documents into
                                                            Sunderland
accessible formats using symbols, pictures and videos.
This has generated a clear, demonstrable pride in the
group at their achievements and raised self-esteem.
Other Approaches



Pointers for Action

-   Share your projects and experiences through solutions4inclusion, the DC10Plus
    network and the digital inclusion community of practice.
-   Consider a peer transfer project from a beacon, or to another local authority.
Key Terms and Phrases Explained
It is important to clarify what the key terms and phrases used throughout this
document mean.


Digital Inclusion; is the use of technology, either directly or indirectly, to improve the
lives and life chances of disadvantaged people and the places in which they live. It is
used to describe local policies and actions designed to encourage the socially
inclusive use of technology and to mitigate the risks that socially disadvantaged
people and communities fall behind as mainstream society increasingly uses new
technologies in every day life. The government has established a Minister for Digital
Inclusion – Paul Murphy the secretary of state for Wales. There is a cabinet
committee for digital inclusion and a new national champion supported by a task
force. Digital inclusion is an important policy area for local government to consider
within the context of local community strategies and plans. In 2009 the beacon local
authorities for Digital Inclusion were announced.


Digitally Excluded; is an term used to describe the inability of an individual or a
community to use, access or fully benefit from services that make used of new
technologies, particularly the internet. People can be digitally excluded for many
reasons – they can’t afford a computer, can’t afford subscription charges for the
internet at home or on their mobiles, do not have the confidence to use new
technologies, do not have the skills to consume and create new media content, have
a specific disability or learning difficulty, or simply lack awareness of the opportunities
and benefits. Communities can be digitally excluded because they lack access to
communications infrastructure of sufficient quality to benefit from services that other
communities are able to. Communities can also be digitally excluded because they
comprise many individuals who are digitally excluded which means that the
community as a whole lacks the opportunities to use applications of technology that
support and strengthen local social networks. A critical element of being digitally
excluded is ‘unattainable benefit’. Those who are digitally excluded, are missing out
on the benefits that public, private and third sector services deployed over new
technologies delivers to those who are not excluded.


Digital Exclusion; is used to describe the processes by which people and
communities can become more digitally excluded. Government, third sector and
private sector action can inadvertently deepen digital exclusion. By improving
services for those who have the access and ability to use new technologies, service
designers can create a service quality gap between those who have not, therefore
deepening the consequences of being digitally excluded. For example, a local
authority that launches an innovative new service on the internet, without an channel
strategy to ensure those without internet access can still derive the full benefits of this
service, is contributing to increasing the impact of being digitally excluded, and is
deepening digital exclusion.


Digital exclusion can be defined as the opposite process to digital inclusion:


Digital exclusion is the inadvertent or careless use of technology, either directly or
indirectly, which,
    -   passively misses the opportunities to improve the lives and life chances of
        disadvantaged people and the places in which they live, and/or
    -   actively contributes towards further disadvantaging a specific group or
        community.


Socially Excluded; is a term used to capture the breadth and depth of the
disadvantages a person or community faces. Those who are socially excluded
typically face a broad range of social disadvantages such as unemployment, poverty,
social isolation, health problems and poor educational attainment. Above a threshold
these problems start to interact and exacerbate each other. Typical estimates are
that 3-5% of the population are deeply socially excluded facing 5 or more complex
social issues and 15-20% are broadly socially excluded facing 3 or more social
disadvantages. Communities that are socially excluded are typically identified as
being on the top 10% in the country based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).


Social Exclusion; is a term used to describe the processes and triggers that can
lead a person of community to become more socially excluded. There is a lot of
research in this area around the causes and predictors of social exclusion. Social
exclusion in particular can be cyclical with the problems of one generation in a family
or community being passed onto another.


There are very clear links between social and digital forms of exclusion. It has been
shown empirically that those who are most deeply socially excluded are
overwhelmingly also digitally excluded. Social exclusion unequivocally leads to digital
exclusion. As more essential public and private sector services make use of new
technologies it is clear that without careful mitigating action digital exclusion will
continue to act to deepen social exclusion.




                           Report copyright Digital Inclusion Team, City of London, UK.

				
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