Social media: Councils, citizens and service transformation
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Social media: Councils, citizens and service transformation

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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, ...

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

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    Social media: Councils, citizens and service transformation Social media: Councils, citizens and service transformation Document Transcript

    • Social Media: Councils, citizens and service transformation 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 this challenge. 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 with: 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 place. 1 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tories_1_million_prize_for_crowdsourcing_platform.php
    • 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 broadband connection. Taking part in social networks and interactive activity online is a majority activity and will only grow. 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- network-users/ 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. 5 http://bccdiy.com/ 6 http://helpmeinvestigate.com/ 7 www.talk2croydon.co.uk 8 http://go.london.nhs.uk/
    • 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 10 http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/researchandstatistics/publicdatasources/localdatapanel/ 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 change 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 12 Washington DCʼs Apps for Democracy project has claimed an ROI of over 4000% www.appsfordemocracy.org/
    • 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.” 14 http://www.werefedup.com/ 15 www.southwarkcircle.org.uk/
    • 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 use policies. 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. Knowledge Sector control of content IDeA CoPs Hub IDeA Knowledge Centrally produced guidance Static websites 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 Government.
    • 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 government. 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 governance 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 local people. 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.