LOTI: Weeknote 72

Final update for LOTI members

We met with our members for the last time this year to share project updates, key outputs and ideas for what’s coming up in the new year. We were proud to share the slide below, detailing the progess our community has made since October, and the exciting things coming up when we return from the festive break.

Whats done and what's coming up

The Covid pandemic has clearly influenced much of our work in the last few months. Digital, data and innovation – the LOTI community’s core areas of strength – have played a massive role in the crisis period and will be key to a successful recovery. For all its disruption, recovery presents an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the way services are delivered. New and more experimental approaches will need to be developed to meet emerging needs. In recognition of this, and to support the awesome work that boroughs have been doing and will be doing going forward, we will be launching a Covid Innovation Fund. The intention is to offer up to £150K to support LOTI borough collaboration on Covid-related challenges. Our aim to help boroughs to reduce the time, cost and risk of trialling new approaches by working together and sharing experiments. Following a presentation of the proposal, were pleased to receive broad support and will share details of how boroughs can apply later this week.

Mark Lumley (Director of Digital and IT, Hounslow Council) shared an update on the progress we’ve made on the innovation in housing procurement project. For an update on what was discussed in the second workshop, be sure to read Genta Hajri’s (Programme Manager, LOTI) latest blog. She will share what we concluded in the final workshop, which took place last week, in a blog later this week.

Theo Blackwell (Chief Digital Officer for London) invited borough feedback and input into London’s Emerging Tech Charter, which you can read about here. Essentially, it’s an effort to support the Mayor’s ambition to make London the ‘smartest city in the world.’ The Charter has been designed to help give Londoners greater visibility on where and how new technology is being deployed, and to guide and support innovators deciding on how to do ‘good business’ in London, especially with city government.​ The survey was shared on Talk London, but has since closed.

The meeting also included updates from Emma McGowan (Head of Digital Transformation, Camden) on Camden’s work to combat food poverty, and from LOTI on our work to support boroughs to have better access to Universal Credit data, in collaboration with Policy in Practice.

The meeting concluded with a fond farewell to Guy Ware, Director, Local Government Performance & Finance at London Councils, who retired last week. Guy was instrumental in turning LOTI from an idea into reality and the whole LOTI team is grateful for his support and guidance over the past 18 months. We wish him a very happy retirement!

The full slides, from the meeting, are available here.

All member workshop 8 Dec 2020

Social Value in Procurement

To kick off LOTI’s recovery work on tackling vulnerability and promoting inclusion, we held two workshops back in September to explore digital inclusion issues in London.

In the first workshop, we sought to identify personas and specific groups of individuals who would be better off if we acted before moving on to exploring problems and barriers preventing the outcomes for each persona from being realised. In the second workshop, we heard details from boroughs on the benefits they derived from sharing and reusing methods, tools, approaches for bridging the digital divide. This led us to host a session at the Digi Leaders Week for boroughs to do just that. We also discussed how we might develop ideas for actions and projects to support residents in accessing digital services, particularly cohorts who are hard to identify or reach. Full details of what was discussed in the workshop and raw notes can be viewed here and the full summary can be found here.

Last week, we held a webinar, which was listed as one of the actions from the two workshops. In this webinar, we wanted to share an innovative that boroughs could take to making use of the social value provision of large contracts to directly support and help fund local digital inclusion initiatives. In the webinar, Dan Ebanks (Social Value Exchange), shared how his organisation works with boroughs to put community needs at the heart of public tenders. Community projects are ‘auctioned’ and organisations are encouraged to compete with one another to secure government tenders. The organisation that wins the auction is usually the one that offers the most, to get maximum tender points.

Inaugural Show & Tell

We ended the week with our inaugural public show & tell, which we’ll be hosting every Friday from 10:00-10:20am! In this session, we showcased LOTI’s Assistive Technology User Agreement Template and Wellbeing Questionnaire, presented by Eden Munro (Project Officer, Hackney Council). You can watch the full recording here.

Essentially, in our effort to remain radically transparent about what we do, who’s involved, and how we do it, we want to share our work and encourage engagement from a broader audience on a regular basis. Don’t worry, we’ll continue to publish weeknotes on our website. However, we appreciate that you may not have the time to fully digest these, so we’ve set aside time every week to share this with you.

We have lined up a whole host of local government officers and innovators who’ve been working with us to deliver some brilliant resources and would be willing to share the details in true digital style – pithy pitches. Those who attend are then be given opportunities to ask questions directly, and pose challenges to our way of thinking or share areas of interest for scaling and developing these tools.

Our show & tells are open to anyone and everyone, and we will endeavour to share details of who is speaking about what, at least a week in advance, so be sure to check out the event page for more details. We look forward to seeing you at the next one – this Friday.

This Week

This week, the LOTI Central Team will be:

  1. Continuing our stakeholder interviews for the Digital, Data and Innovation capabilities project.
  2. Holding our last Data Science network meet-up for the year. You can register to attend here.
  3. Holding the latest LOTI show & tell – be sure to register to attend here.

For the daily download on all things LOTI, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

Eddie Copeland
14 December 2020 ·
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