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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