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A discussion paper presented to the Local Government Delivery Council on how social media is changing the relationship between citizens and local public services, making the link between performance, insight and service transformation to achieve efficiency
Social media: Councils, citizens and service transformation
Social Media: Councils, citizens and service
a paper presented to the Local Government Delivery Council 4 March 2010
Introduction: Social media as a game changer for local government
Social media is changing the world in which we work, socialise and govern in many
different ways. From Twitter to eBay, Facebook to YouTube, new tools are emerging every
year that place the connecting power of the internet in the hands of every one of us.
Marketing and sales teams are discovering lucrative new channels; staff and employers
are experiencing a change in their relationships; the news and public accountability are
swifter and more challenging; and the power of individuals to spread messages is now
signiﬁcant enough that no company or government can ignore it. This is happening here
and now, and there is nothing we can do to change it.
In this context, the expectations on councils to engage, work openly, be accountable and
move quicker on issues are growing. Meanwhile, councils are facing the biggest cuts in
spending in the post-war period and are being asked to do more with less just as demands
from local people are rising. Higher expectations combined with drastically fewer
resources make the imperative to innovate critical. A new set of tools is needed to meet
Social media tools represent an extraordinary opportunity to innovate, to do things that
werenʼt possible before, and we are only just beginning to see what is possible. More and
more councils are beginning to use these tools to achieve real value against their
objectives, by engaging citizens, listening more, harnessing local energy to help with
public activities. Alongside this, the available toolset is growing, as national and
international web tools are developed that offer local councils powerful new infrastructures
for supporting communities and delivering public services.
The challenge for all councils right now is therefore to move social media off their list of
challenges, and onto their list of opportunities. If they don't, they face moving into a
changing world under-equipped and underfunded. But if they do, they may ﬁnd that the
solutions they seek are right under their nose.
Itʼs not tools, itʼs connections
Unhelpfully, when many people talk about social media they talk about the tools. Twitter.
YouTube. Blogging. This can seem like impenetrable jargon. The important thing to
remember about social media is that itʼs social. Itʼs about communication. Itʼs about
putting the transformative power of the printing press into the hands of the people. Just as
the ability to publish political pamphlets and tracts and talk about them in coffee houses
was the foundation of our liberal democracy, social media will have just as big an effect on
the way we govern and do business. Now anyone can publish and share their views and
more importantly engage in conversation with others about those views.
The term “social” can be unhelpful as well. It can imply that itʼs just for fun, a bit trivial, and
not for the business of government. The Latin origins of the word social mean “allied” or
connected in a civil sense. Social media is connected media. Social media is
communication that is aligned to the networks of business and human interaction that we
already have or aspire to.
The policy imperative
The Smarter Government and the Digital Britain white papers are setting out the
Governmentʼs ambition to create digitally enabled public services used by a digitally
enabled population. Alongside the recommendations by CLG in Communities in Control to
bring more aspects of engagement and civic life online through, there is a clear policy
imperative for a connected government working alongside a connected population.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown introduces Smarter Government: Putting the Frontline First
We will embrace new technology to better inform the public; give citizens new rights to
information; create a new dialogue between people and public service professionals; and
reduce bureaucratic burdens. Public services will improve as they become more personal
and more cost-effective, and at the same time they will strengthen democratic deliberation
and control in local communities.
Digitally enabled government which fundamentally changes the relationship between
service providers and service users is not just an initiative of the Labour Government. The
Conservative Shadow Cabinet is being advised by Tom Steinberg of MySociety - a leading
proponent of government online and the founder of FixMyStreet.com. Shadow Chancellor
George Osborne has long advocated open source IT for government. If the Conservatives
form a government they promise to put money behind these bright ideas, offering a one
million pound prize to developers who can deliver a platform to crowd source1 policy ideas
for improving public services and saving money.
A call to action
The need to take on this agenda is clear. Social media isnʼt going away. Councils and
their partners have a signiﬁcant opportunity to take advantage of new technologies to
deliver efﬁciency and improvement and enhance local democracy. This paper addresses
how councils can learn to stop worrying and start embracing social media and how the
IDeA, the LGA Group and the Local Government Delivery Council can help.
1. Changing the relationship between citizens and councils
People are now turning ﬁrst to the web to ﬁnd everything from information about days out,
entertainment, shopping and making connections with friends and colleagues. Citizens
will expect that local government will be able to provide its services online with the same
level of interactivity that they ﬁnd everywhere from Amazon to the comments section of
their local newspaper online. If local government does not keep the pace, it will
increasingly seem less relevant and will not be able to fulﬁll its role in the leadership of
Facebook has almost 24 million user accounts in the UK. Throughout the UK more local
residents are using online networks than are reading local newspapers.
Analysis by Michelle Ide-Smith for Cambridgeshire County Council, these ﬁgures will be
mirrored across the land.
Nearly two-thirds of all UK residents are participating in “social computing” - rising to 87 %
of 18 to 24 year olds2. But itʼs not just kids online. The average age of Facebook users is
38, Twitter - 39 and Delicious, an online bookmarking service, is 41 3. Seventy-percent of
UK households have access to the Internet4 and the vast majority of that is through a
Taking part in social networks and interactive activity online is a majority activity and will
1.1 Enhancing democracy
From the Downing Street Petitions to the Have Your Say functions on almost every leading
news outlet online, major institutions are taking their cues from the way people were
already operating online through blogs and forums and Amazon style rating systems.
2 Forresterʼs Groundswell Research 2009 ﬁgures: http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/proﬁle_tool.html
3Royal Pingdom research, US data, Feb 2010: http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/02/16/study-ages-of-social-
4 Ofﬁce for National Statistics, 2009 http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?ID=8
Participation and the ability to feed back is now the norm. Local government will expected
to respond in the same way, to convene the space for dialogue and debate.
Councillors, more than councils, are rising to this challenge by going online to local forums
and social networks, by embracing Twitter and writing blogs. Some councils, too, are
rising to this challenge. Redbridge, for example, through the Big Conversation used a
blend of online and traditional consultation techniques and saw Internet participation vastly
outstripping pen and paper.
Councils are often focused on existing methods of consultation and engagement, even as
more local people turn to the online world. Even the advice they receive is often set in a
pre-social media world - a recent case book of engagement practices made not a single
mention of the social web. Face to face meetings are important and can never be
replaced, but they are expensive and they exclude huge swathes of people who are
unwilling to risk their time to attend an event in a dreary community hall on a damp
Tuesday evening or who are too intimidated to speak up if they do. Councils must seek to
blend the ofﬂine and the online if there is to be true engagement and empowerment.
Where government does not open up debate online, citizens will increasingly take on this
role themselves. Vibrant discussions concerning local issues, including the council, are
already taking place in local social networks like Pits n Pots in Stoke or Harringay Online
(a neighbourhood in the London Borough of Haringey).
But citizens can also act disruptively. The BCC DIY 5 project is re-creating the Birmingham
website along social principles after drawing attention to perceived ﬂaws and high costs in
the councilʼs website redevelopment. The HelpMeInvestigate6 project helps citizens
access information about public services through open channels or through encouraging
costly Freedom of Information requests. Although these crowd sourced projects are
apparently well-intentioned, other online campaigns may not be. Interest groups can use
the social web and this use may or may not support fair access to democratic channels or
provide better service provision on an equitable basis. Local government cannot stop this,
but must seek to work in this space.
Leadership of place will increasingly mean leading and directing debate online and
supporting collaboration and action by citizens for citizens. Talk2Croydon7 is an interactive
conversational space hosted by the London Borough of Croydon, the PCT and Croydon
Voluntary Action which supports dialogue and debate on local priorities as well as a call to
action for local volunteering and engagement. GoLondon8 is social innovation project
supported by NHS London and the Greater London Assembly to crowd source ideas to
help Londoners to be more active and will develop the best ideas through online and face
to face activities. Both of these projects are about bringing the debate to people where
and when they have the time and engendering a transparent sense of ownership by the
widest possible range of stakeholders from the beginning. Greater Manchester Police is
using the same social media and sentiment monitoring tools used by major commercial
brands and the London Borough of Barnet to measure and understand fear of crime and to
engage online where they can make a difference.
1.2 The open data agenda
President Barack Obama chose opening government data as one of his key priorities
during his ﬁrst days in ofﬁce. Promoting performance management at the same time, his
administration linked the two initiatives promoting the notion of a government responsible
to the people it serves and giving them the tools of information and transparency to hold it
to account. But there are other beneﬁts, too, which include better interchange of
information between public sector partners and the re-use of open government data to
provide useful information and services to citizens.
The open data agenda has spread rapidly across the English speaking world. The most
visible aspects of this are open directories of government data which anyone can search
and access and most importantly reuse, for free. By many accounts, the recently
launched data.gov.uk, although later on the scene, surpasses the quality, depth and
current scope of the data.gov project in the US. It is an amazing achievement, but there is
more to do.
Data.gov.uk is not yet a complete set of non-personal government data and local
government data is notably absent9 and is the next step. A high proﬁle panel10 to address
the issues of opening up local government data has been appointed, but this initiative
must be supported across the sector if it is to succeed. Arguments of transparency and
accountability may have less traction than efﬁciency and enhanced services - and those
will be addressed in the next section.
Some councils are making strides with open data, notably Lichﬁeld, Kent and the GLA
and others are experimenting with some data sets. Barnet, Windsor and Maidenhead and
a few others are experimenting with exposing data on all purchases over £500.
Local government has long been resistant to the idea of sharing more data, particularly
when forced by central government. But by making data open to the public and supporting
dialogue and engagement, local government can legitimately circumvent central
government oversight. As resources tighten and some services are cut, a debate about
which services to provide and how to provide them efﬁciently will be increasingly be
informed by real data provided by councils willingly or not. The LGA and SoCITM 11 are
working to prepare guidance on the technical issues and framing common standards, but
wider communication of the beneﬁts of open data.
Citizens, too, will expect government agencies to work together in the same way that they
expect to interact with agencies and businesses online. The Smarter Government white
paper outlines both the important of open government data, opening up, re-using and
adding value to non-personal data. Early indications from US cities like San Francisco,
Chicago and Washington which have already opened their data is that signiﬁcant value
9 Data.gov.uk includes some CLG sets of data reported by local government
11 Kable news article 23 February 2010, http://bit.ly/cwD1Jx
can be created through open data12 and that savings can be achieved by reducing the cost
of freedom of information requests.
1.3 What we need to do now
1. Engage with politicians and ofﬁcers across the local public sector on the use of social
media, including monitoring, engaging and measuring impact.
2. Identifying and promoting best practice and the best practitioners, encouraging
practitioners to tell their own stories.
3. Link up the best in UK local government with the best internationally (local and central
government) and with the best in the private sector.
4. Work with the best to deﬁne the key characteristics of success, for instance the use of
open data, and deﬁne the lessons which can be used for councils struggling to make the
5. Develop programmes to share learning and develop ʻcrowd sourcedʼ resources for the
beneﬁt of the sector.
2. Changing how councils do business
We can no longer afford to do business in the way have before. So the big question for
councils right now is, how can social media help? And not just help to make new things
possible, but save real time and deliver greater efﬁciency. In the face of radical spending
cuts, the key question for most councils will be: "Will this eat up my time and make me less
productive, or make things more efﬁcient?" How can social media actually help councils to
do what they need to do, and not simply be the icing on the cake?
The mathematics is pretty straightforward. The Society of Information Technology
Managementʼs recent analysis of customer service interactions lists web transaction costs
at 27p on average, compared with phone transactions of £3.22, and face-to-face
transactions of £6.56. The web is cheaper, and quicker. Councils that ﬁnd ways to shift
their business online quickly will save money. But the really exciting cost-savings come
from restructuring the existing processes entirely: social media allows far more people to
contribute to solving a problem, which means potentially far greater efﬁciency overall,
despite higher management and communications costs. Many councils are, in little ways,
trying both, and there are enough early signs of success to suggest new models and point
the way for how these tools might be used in a radically more efﬁcient local government.
2.1 A culture of customer focus and collaboration
Too many people who are happy to buy books or DVDs from Amazon, shop online at
Ocado or book their holidays online are still phoning in to report problems or are visiting
council contact centres to renew parking permits or ask basic questions of planning
ofﬁcers. They may not be aware of how they can do business with the council online and
simple and inexpensive online marketing, founded on customer insight principles, can
deliver channel shift to save citizens aggravation and the council tens of thousands of
Washington DCʼs Apps for Democracy project has claimed an ROI of over 4000%
pounds. The old way of doing business is no longer affordable; it doesnʼt value
government resources and it doesnʼt value citizen time.
Citizens may not need to interact with the council at all. As citizens ﬁnd, and crucially
share, solutions online without the need to interact directly with service providers. Social
customer relationship management is used by many technology companies to create
communities to solve problems for themselves. Through the Service Transformation and
Efﬁciency programme, councils like Fylde are experimenting with social CRM and
Cambridgeshire is building networks of citizens who can share information about access to
services or provide some of those services themselves. Itʼs a prime example of the radical
innovations and efﬁciencies as described in We Think by Charles Leadbeater or
Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams.
We know that physical co-location of services and sharing both back and front ofﬁce
services through service transformation provides an opportunity to make radical
efﬁciencies and improve outcomes for users. But co-location of information potentially
provides even greater opportunity for savings. The Tell Us Once project helps link
information exchanges between citizens and government agencies. The Local
Information Partnerships Project13 will bring together personal data held by local partners
to create real time performance information and enable better planning and provision of
complex services such as long term care. The same principles of linking data through
standards which apply to open data projects like data.gov.uk will enable effective and
accurate sharing of personal and non-personal data.
2.2 Keeping citizens informed
If you are looking to keep citizens up-to-date with important, time-critical information about
their area, then virtually-free tools that enable instantaneous broadcast to a vast number of
people should be of interest to you. Many councils are realising that by making their public
information notices available via social media channels, they can vastly increase their
reach with very little extra cost.
Using social media channels has two particular advantages. Firstly, most of these tools are
very easy to syndicate and republish to other sites, including a council website, meaning
they can be used as a single, all-purpose newsfeed system which replaces all the existing
channels. Secondly, the social nature of the mediums means that other people can
forward your messages on, meaning that important news travels faster, and further, than
you could manage on your own.
Januaryʼs extreme weather has seen local council PR teams relying heavily on new
messaging technologies to communicate with residents. Many councils around Britain
bypassed traditional media to communicate snow updates directly over social media.
Kirklees Council and Essex Council were among those to set up a 'Gritter Twitter', giving
24-hour updates on the roads that were being gritted. In addition, the Essex Council
website featured a roadmap showing roads that are being treated, with live information
being re-rendered in a more accessible form. “Mobile technology is now crucial - it's real-
time information, there's no spin. This will have lessons on where councils go next,” says
Giles Roca, Essex Council Head of Communications.
13 Formerly known as EPDM: Effective Partnership Data Management
2.3 Changing behaviour, convening communities
Social media is all about communities. It connects people together, helps them share who
they are, encourages conversation and builds trust. It is the most powerful tool available
today for building a sense of belonging and collaboration in a virtual, or local, area. Making
astute use of free tools and more complex services such as SMS and bespoke social
networking software can give councils a scalable, time-efﬁcient way to connect residents
together and build community in their locality. This might seem like nice icing on the cake
compared with delivering critical services, but it can be the missing piece that makes
everything in the community work better. Any council tasked with building a sense of
belonging in a neighbourhood, increasing resident satisfaction levels, and reducing social
problems like vandalism or racism, can do much with social media.
The challenges facing councils and their partners over the coming decade are about much
more than delivering standard services for less. We are working with parents and children
to help them live healthier more active lives to reduce childhood obesity which have long
term effects on their health and costs to the health service. We are trying to support
teenagers to make better choices about their education, career, how they spend their
leisure time and how they conduct their sex lives. These are all areas where peers have
more inﬂuence than parents, the council or the PCT. Social marketing techniques
employed through social networks people are already using and populated with their
friends and peers can have a tremendous impact on providing individuals with information
abut the choices on offer and using peer support to make the right choices. The City of
Los Angeles is partnering with schools and the local public health service to provide social
networking support to help kids make better choices about diet and exercise through the
WeʼreFedUp network14 .
Social media can also play a supporting role in making traditional methods work more
effectively. An excellent example of this is Southwark Circle15, a membership organisation
that provides older people with on-demand help with life's practical tasks, through local,
reliable neighbourhood helpers. The primary service is delivered face-to-face, but it is
supported by social media and a social network for teaching, learning and sharing. They
use YouTube videos to explain the service, Twitter to promote their work, and help their
helpers communicate and share knowledge using a blend of digital tools and ofﬂine
meetups. While not run by the council, it does receive council support as it meets the
councilʼs aims to ensure Southwark is a place where people love to live, everyone
achieves their potential, and which promotes healthy and independent living.
In his recent speech ʻThe age of austerityʼ, David Cameron singled out Southwark Circle
for special praise: “In the London Borough of Southwark, a new social enterprise called
Southwark Circle is delivering vastly improved care services for less money designed by
elderly people for elderly people using local social networks to bring real improvements to
people's lives. Our government spends nearly £400 million a year on advertising to reach
sixty million people while Wikipedia, one of the largest websites in the world, spends about
one per cent of that to reach 280 million people..[...]Southwark Circle. Wikipedia. Theyʼre
all delivering more for less.”
2.4 Countering myths and removing blockages
Despite the rapid adoption of social media and social networking by the public at large,
many councils have been slow to adopt social media tools and others are actively putting
up barriers . The recent Socitm Insight report Social media: Why ICT Managers should
lead their organisations to embrace it stated that 90% of surveyed councils restrict access
to social networking sites in some way and around two-thirds have a total ban in place.
These councils are missing out on the very real opportunities to listen to communities, gain
insight and deliver services in new ways.
There are some jobs in councils in which access to social networking sites would not be
beneﬁcial or would be a drain on productivity. But increasingly policy, performance,
efﬁciency, customer service, consultation and political ofﬁcers would not be doing their job
correctly if they werenʼt accessing the social networking sites that local residents are using
to talk about their area, the council and their community. An outright ban isnʼt effective
anyway. The prevalence of smart phones means that council workers may have social
networks on their desks or in their pockets.
Few councils have well constructed social media access and appropriate use policies.
Council ofﬁcers are already online with their own personal social networking accounts and
often live in the area they serve. Only with a clear online code of conduct can ofﬁcers use
social media to support the councils aims and be a source of formal and informal
information to the community and prevent undermining the councilʼs objectives by careless
or malicious online behaviour.
The Civil Service has already adopted a clear and simple online code which encourages
careful engagement online at work and in personal time. Councils such as Devon, Kent
and Cambridgeshire have been developing access and use policies which could provide a
model for the rest of the sector. In Kent, for example, access to social networking requires
completion of training which focuses both on basic skills and how social media can be
used to deliver business objectives.
2.5 What we need to do now
1. Use innovative techniques such as unconferences and design charrettes to work with
practitioners to develop business focused applications across the disciplines of customer
insight, engagement, efﬁciency and social media.
2. Highlight and promote the innovative use of customer insight and social marketing
through the combination of traditional and online channels
3. Champion open and linked data principles to save money and develop new services
cheaply or for free
4. Use collaborative techniques to learn from the best to develop appropriate access and
5. Raise awareness of the beneﬁts of social media through cutting edge knowledge
sharing channels described in the next section as well as traditional media.
3.Changing how we support improvement
3.1 Culture of collaboration within public services
The IDeA has long been at the forefront of using social and other web technologies to
support local government. IDeA Knowledge was a groundbreaking knowledge sharing
website which incorporated social tools such as forums and interactive feedback from its
earliest days. The IDeAʼs award winning Communities of Practice website has changed
the way that councils share knowledge and has been a model for civil service, other
countries and industries. Over 50,000 members of the communities of practice platform
are sharing ideas and support in over 1000 communities, from key strategic areas like
performance, efﬁciency, workforce development to important developing ﬁelds like
Customer Insight and better use of data, to important but niche issues such as census
preparedness where ofﬁcers can often feel alone inside huge organisations. It is
recognised as the worldʼs largest and most active public sector professional network.
The LGA Group and its subsidiaries such as ESD Toolkit and the Local Government
Information House has a long established reputation in developing sector-owned and
deﬁned data and information resources. By creating collaborative frameworks, we have
developed sector-owned information which have helped deliver programmes and assets
which have saved millions.
As the public sector faces spending squeezes, so the IDeA must ﬁnd more effective and
efﬁcient means of helping the sector ﬁnd and adapt best practice. The IDeA and the LGA
group support councils in leading their own improvement with solutions that are developed
by local representatives with local people. As we see the development of greater localism
and sector driven improvement as described in Freedom to Lead, weʼll need to make sure
that we have the structures and skills in place to help councils and their partners
benchmark, share data and develop challenging and useful self-evaluation.
Building on what we have already done, the Knowledge Hub is being developed by the
IDeA with and on behalf of the sector. It will be a framework of collaboration and the tools
which support it. It will support greater information sharing and add value by bringing
together conversations, data sets and information sources which have been for historical
and technical reasons disconnected and disjointed. Itʼs not only the sectorʼs technical
solution, upgrading and integrating our existing platforms of knowledge sharing, but it also
represents a signiﬁcant cultural shift and a new way of capturing, sharing and integrating
our local knowledge.
Social media will play a vital role in ensuring the most efﬁcient way to gather and share
this knowledge. The development of new free or cheap blogging and multi-media tools
such as pod-casting and video are bringing an immediacy to practice development which
was never before affordable or available. As we experience spending squeezes, face to
face events and conferences and even heavily subsidised events will seem expensive and
out-of-reach. We need tools which can help practitioners share lessons over time and
distance without extensive travel costs or full days out of the ofﬁce. And when face to face
conferences do take place we need to make sure that good practice is captured and
shared with a wider audience than those who were able to attend on the day.
The IDeA and LGA group needs a workforce which embraces this way of working and sets
it within the context of mediated content: such as guidance, toolkits and the regulatory
framework itself. We have already begun to work this way:
• Online conferences on the communities of practice platform are generating savings of
over 250% per event in production and travel costs without counting the advantages of
more ﬂexible use of ofﬁcer time and permanence of learning.
• The Tobacco Control programme is using social reporting techniques such as video to
capture good practice by councils and to provide messages of peer support to those who
want to quit smoking
• Socialgov.posterous.com and worktogether.org.uk are helping councils to ﬁnd and share
good practice quickly and cheaply using free social media tools
The Knowledge Hub and the use of social media represents a signiﬁcant step forward in
the way that local government takes control of its own practice development.
Sector control of content
IDeA CoPs Hub
Use of social technology
Local government, too needs to be ready to embrace the use of new technologies in
support of taking control of its own learning and development. At the heart of the
Knowledge Hub is using social technologies to enhance the communities of practice
approach. A critical part of the Knowledge Hub approach is helping the sector embrace a
range of social media skills. Developing these skills will ensure the full success of the
Knowledge Hub, but more importantly this will help the sector develop the skills it needs to
fulﬁll the challenges of the digital age.
We are supporting the development of social media skills through two joint publications
this Spring16 focusing on both senior managers in local government and councillors. We
host the Social Media Community of Practice. We are reviewing how support
programmes and are incorporating social media at the heart of ﬂagship programmes such
as the Efﬁciency Exchange, Managing Local Performance and the Local Innovation
16Local by Social a think piece on social media for local government developed with NESTA and A
Councillorʼs Guide to Social Media a practical guide for councillors online developed with the Leadership
Centre for Local Government, Standards Board for England and the Leadership Centre for Local
Awards Scheme (successor to the Beacons scheme). With the guidance and support of
the Local Government Delivery Council and leading practitioners, we aim to develop a
wider programme of social media for improvement, efﬁciency and innovation.
3.2 Sector owned support for data and information management
The Knowledge Hub is not simply about better conversational space - it will integrate data
from open data stores such as data.gov.uk or local data stores such as the Greater
London Assemblyʼs into conversational and networked spaces. The Hub will use linked
data principles to connect information from different sources, networks, static websites and
data sources across Government and Local Government to identify common themes. It will
lever our existing expertise in the development and nurture of communities of practice and
bring together conversations with informatics (for example performance metrics) that can
encourage new lines of enquiry for improving efﬁciency and/or performance.
The Hub will compliment the initiative behind data.gov.uk in encouraging social innovators
to develop and share value-added applications. But it will add additional value by using the
sector-deﬁned standards developed through ESD-Toolkit as well as providing both open
and subscription based information (e.g. customer insight data) to provide a real time
dashboard for development and improvement.
The Knowledge Hub will provide reference data for developing the ʻlocal government web
of dataʼ, which we believe will encourage opportunities for innovation across the sector. It
will make it easier to make the link between high performance and the networks of
practitioners who deliver it. We believe this is a ground-breaking initiative that is central to
our continued engagement with the sector. It will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and
learning and the development of new models of public service delivery ﬁt for 21st century
3.3 What we need to do now
1. Strengthen local governmentʼs ownership of the Knowledge Hub and in particular
explore how the Local Government Delivery Council could have a more formal role in its
2. Develop a pilot programme for the use of Knowledge Hub resources and social media
skills at across different levels of engagement (between councils and citizens, councils
and partners and councils and supporting and regulating agencies) which includes
concrete support - such as training, toolkits and guidance where necessary and
signposting and celebrating sector advances and innovative collaboration projects.
3. Work with the Local Government Data Panel, the LGDC and communities of practice
and Local Information Systems networks to align the Knowledge Hub with the open data
agenda and work to open data sets that are useful to local government, its partners and
Ingrid Koehler, 17 February 2010. This paper draws on the forthcoming Local by Social pamphlet jointly
produced by the IDeA and NESTA and internal Knowledge Hub brieﬁng papers.