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Local Gov Digital Engagement - in at the deep end!
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Local Gov Digital Engagement - in at the deep end!


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  • 1. Local gov digital engagement – In at the deep end!
    Michele Ide-Smith
    Paul Henderson
  • 2. Our challenge
    Wisbech – market town in North Cambridgeshire
    Poor Place Survey results – NI 1, NI 4, NI 17
    High unemployment, economic deprivation
    Large migrant community - Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian
    Low educational attainment and IT skills
    Slow broadband access, lack of computer ownership
    Hard to engage migrant communities, youth, older people, disabled people, time pressured 25 – 40’s using neighbourhood panels, community fairs
  • 3. Our objectives
    Use social media to help build stronger communities and improve cohesion – shared visibility of community issues and culture
    Identify areas where issues are prevalent, in order to focus Agency service delivery and help set priority outcomes
    Offer an alternative channel to communicate and educate communities on priority issues
  • 4. Partnership working
    Rosmini Centre Wisbech
  • 5. What about hyperlocal?
    Few active hyperlocal sites (we did an audit)
    Some Parish Council sites – but not social
    Facebook and Gadu-Gadu are the most popular social sites (from community survey)
    We need to stimulate hyperlocal activity to build an active online community to engage with
  • 6. Community management – pro’s
    Democratic and self-moderating
    Sustainable model – owned by the community
    Building community skills in social media, use of digital media and social reporting
    Public service providers have less liability
    Low / no cost technology and flexibility to try a range of different tools
  • 7. Community management – Con’s
    Lack of control, service providers fear criticism
    Reliance on a few motivated individuals, could be hijacked by one community group
    Lack of motivation and interest from community
    Lack of skills in digital and social media
    Unclear how service providers intervene if there are tensions or conflict arises
    Reliance on continuing existence of providers of free social media platforms / tools
  • 8. Using existing groups/networks
  • 9. Approach
    Build on success of existing e-democracy models
    Develop strong partnership working ethos
    Use existing social media tools where possible
    Co-creation and community ownership – engage community throughout the design process
    Clearly defined roles and agreements
    Community Manager
    Community Champions – enthusiasts, voluntary and community sector, Parish Councils
    Public Sector Agencies
  • 10.
  • 11. Outcomes
    Reduced avoidable contact (NI 14)
    More representative view of priority issues (NI 4)
    Improved information, targeting of resources
    Outreach reaches wider geographical audience
    Better information for residents
    Residents have visibility of issues raised by others (cohesion - NI 1) and can raise issues confidentially
    Councillors can pro-actively engage residents
    Increased social media literacy and skills
  • 12. Links with other projects
    Talk2Croydon (CVS run e-democracy site)
    E-democracy Forums
    CitizenScape (Public-i EU funded project)
    Harringay Online and other hyperlocal sites
    Networked Neighbourhoods research
    Local 2.0 (Young Foundation)
    Citizens Advice Bureau Advicehub project
    Any others??
  • 13. Process and techniques
    Focus groups
    Stakeholder workshop
  • 14. What do you think?
     Don’t like
    Like 
  • 15. What did they think?
    Like 
     Don’t like
  • 16. Blogs
    Needs to be brilliant to catch attention
    lots of information on progress
    Easy to follow
    Can see pictures of other people who write about problems and you can see how they were fixed
    Keeping you up to date
    impressed at how up to date it was
    Doesn’t catch your interest enough, it’s too plain
    Problem page would be better
    How is it being made?
    Like the layout
    Very up to date
    Impressed with site
    Can groups and individuals set up blogs?
    Notes problems and safety issues
    Is it safe? Safety of my information
    Urban 25-40
    Older people
  • 17. Google maps
    Easy/clear instructions
    Amazing details
    you can get directions straight away where you want and it shows by car, walking and on public transport
    Don’t like someone seeing my own back garden
    Very clear and detailed pictures
    Had used it for directions but didn’t know about public transport times
    Easy to understand and use
    Liked you could zoom right into your house
    Easy to use
    love it
    I like this site
    All had used it
    Urban 25-40
    Older people
  • 18. FixMyStreet
    very good
    Probably better off reporting straight to the Council/police etc
    Very good easier than traipsing to somewhere to report a problem
    No-one heard of it
    Does it really work?
    Now I know about it, will probably use it
    Easy to use
    easy to use and a good site
    Like it, good to know it’s there
    Very good for people who want to move to an area
    could be useful
    you can’t see when the problem is likely to be fixed
    not much being fixed
    Basic (very)
    Why do they want my email to report a pothole?
    Anonymous settings confusing
    Not always sorted in good time, my report is still waiting to be dealt with after 6 months and even a year
    I like this site
    Urban 25-40
    Older people
  • 19. Pledgebank
    helps you if you have a problem
    Not interested
    No-one heard of it
    Not used an online petition
    You can write your own things, problems and chat to people to get things done
    Very good idea and needs more publicity
    bad pledge fails to get enough subscriptions
    Never heard of it
    Good idea
    Basic- no confusion
    Easy to use/understand
    Only loudest voices being heard, not the majority
    Wouldn’t use it
    A do-gooders website
    Don’t think I would join in
    Urban 25-40
    Older people
  • 20. WhatDoTheyKnow
    Positive: none, unless you want information from a specific authority
    Never heard of it
    No-one heard of it
    Don’t believe you would get the real information
    not what I expected
    very plain boring site
    Not sure that you could trust statistics from the council
    Wouldn’t use it, boring
    Don’t think we would use it
    Not interested
    Urban 25-40
    Older people
  • 21. Twitter
    What’s the point?
    Never been on it
    irrelevant information
    Annoying- what’s it for?
    Need to be careful what you say on there –especially politicians
    Interested in it – but not got time for it
    Everyone heard of it/ no-one used it
    Very childish
    Urban 25-40
    Older people
  • 22. Any trends?
    Normal people:
    • Haven't heard of this stuff (FixMyStreet etc)
    • 23. Will and do use simple, well designed sites (eg Google Maps)
    • 24. Don't turn to social media if they've got a problem - yet
    • 25. Need a hand
    • 26. Think Twitter is rubbish
  • Stakeholders help 'Design' the site
  • 27. Stakeholders help 'Design' the site
    (Hat-tip to @davidwilcox
    and the Social Media Game)
  • 28. Throw scenarios at the sitee.g.Parksafety
    • Families are afraid of going to play areas in the park because of drinking and drug-taking
    • 29. CCTV cameras have been put up, but this has just moved the problem to another area of the park
    • 30. Would like more patrols or something to be done to make it safe even during the day
    • 31. Roles
    • 32. Stacy: mum who lives near the park
    • 33. John: partnership member who receives the query via the site
    • 34. Mary: councillor/contractor who has respond to the problem and do something about it
  • 'Test' the site
  • 35. Matters arising
    • Processes and procedures outside the site
    • 36. Marketing & communications planning
    • 37. Roles and responsibilities of partners
    • 38. Not (too) many technical challenges
  • What next?
    • Refine user stories
    • 39. Prioritise functions
    • 40. Build and test in the real world