If you’re from a local council, public body, charity or working in neighbourhoods, we can help with everything from consultancy, development and training to doing. Our aim is to change the way the public and the public sector talk to each other.

A challenge to the idea of economies of scale in public services…

Posted on 28th February 2015 by

Locality has published some research which counters the argument that large organisations will deliver public services the most efficiently and cost effectively.  It’s timely when budget holders are looking at cutting the small, perhaps seduced by the arguments of the large.

A new paper, ‘Public Services, Civil Society & Diseconomies of Scale’, outlines this research project arguing that human scale operations deliver high quality services as well as value for money.

Locality’s members, some of the most active and ambitious community organisations, have described inefficiencies in large-scale services across the UK. This ranges from youth to legal aid services, mental health interventions through to employability schemes such as the Work Programme. It is having disastrous consequences for poorer communities and smaller providers.

– See more at: http://locality.org.uk/news/diseconomies-scale/#sthash.GJtoAlqX.64MXMylL.dpuf

13 pages. Have a read.  There’s also and event in Birmingham on March for the launch of their keep it local campaign http://locality.org.uk/events/local-campaign-launch/

Recent things written about open data and community groups and democracy

Posted on 28th January 2015 by

BBC Reports that ”

The UK government is the most open and transparent in the world, according to global rankings looking at public access to official data.

But web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, whose organisation compiled the table, says the country has “a long way to go” before it has a fully open government

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30883472

UK addresses as open data:  the “UK’s first open and free address list launches”:

https://alpha.openaddressesuk.org/news/2015/01/14/UKs-first-open-and-free-address-list-launches

Voluntary sector and open data.

David Kane from NCVO writes:

My aim as a member of ODUG is to represent the needs of the voluntary sector – but to do that I need your help. I’d love to hear your open data issues – are there datasets that government produce that would help you but which you can’t get hold of at the moment?

A great place to start is the data requests process on data.gov.uk. This is where you can request access to datasets that aren’t currently open – they’ll be looked into by the team at the Cabinet Office and ODUG will also keep an eye on the process. You can also get in touch with me directly if you have any questions or comments about open data.

Something that ODUG members have been working hard on recently is a response to the government’s proposals for a National Information Infrastructure (NII). This ODUG paper published today sets out what we believe a National Information Infrastructure should look like, and how it is as important for the country as a physical infrastructure such as Crossrail.

see more http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2015/01/27/making-open-data-work-for-the-voluntary-sector/

 

 

 

Social Media Surgeries and Open data – a new thing.

Posted on 21st January 2015 by

Since 2008 our approach to social media surgeries has remained pretty much the same.  If we’ve done anything it’s seek to protect their simplicity and simplify them even further.

That is now changing – a little bit.

We are working with Digital Birmingham and the Cabinet Office transparency team to introduce  (in some cases release) a new set of knowledge and skills into the social media surgery movement – skills that will help community groups make better use of data, including open data.

Why do this? Read the rest of this entry »