Weeknote 30 of 2021

Next steps for mapping digital exclusion

Last week, we held a workshop to showcase the outputs of our Digital Exclusion Mapping project and to invite borough digital inclusion leads and other relevant stakeholders to propose how the map might be used and developed to support their work.

We see the map as being a foundation stone both for other digital inclusion projects that will fall under the Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme and for boroughs’ own initiatives. At the workshop, participants shared their appetite to enrich the map with more datasets and explore how it might be used to aid better collaboration between councils and their health and NHS Partners; support the targeting of community resources; and enable a better understanding of the supply and demand of devices.

The outputs of the workshop will be discussed by the original project group, consisting of Barnet, Brent, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Westminster and the GLA. You can read the full summary note of the workshop here. View the video from the session below.

Device upcycling workshop

In another area of our work on the Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme, on Tuesday we held a joint workshop with the Pan-London Digital Inclusion Working group.

The main objective was to explore boroughs’ experiences with upcycling their old corporate devices (or finding other ways to procure new devices) to offer to digitally excluded residents. This information will be invaluable as LOTI works to pilot and document the upcycling journey with one of London’s major public sector organisations, and as we aim to design interventions to make the whole process simpler and easier.

We also shared with boroughs the latest insights from LOTI’s research on device upcycling, including pain points and barriers experienced by both public and private sector organisations. The report can be accessed here. We invite boroughs that would like to take part in a device upcycling project with LOTI to share their details here. A write up of the workshop can be found here.

Doing more with data

It was another busy week for LOTI’s data communities. On Monday, participants in the LOTI/ONS Data Science Bootcamp continued their training, exploring a range of issues including the challenges of cleansing then matching free text fields. Despite the challenging topics, you’ll see they were – for the most part – still smiling!

Screenshot from ONS Data Skills Bootcamp 26 July 2021

On Wednesday, LOTI’s Data Science network convened. Among other items, we shared details with the group about a survey we’ll be sending their way into the challenges of recruiting for data roles in local government. We want to understand what they enjoy about working in local government, what they feel might be missing, and ideas they have for helping local government access more data talent like them. This will help inform a Data Capacity Discovery workshop, which will be held on 8 September. Further details on this important area of LOTI’s Skills and Capability work will be shared shortly.

Towards the end of the week, LOTI’s Data Leaders network got together. As well as sharing their own views on the challenges of recruiting data talent, they discussed the potential to codesign some data skills training for non-data professionals with the Government Digital Service (GDS). Again, more details coming soon!

Fond farewells

On Friday, the LOTI team got together in person to say a fond farewell to our colleague Onyeka Onyekwelu, the usual writer of these weeknotes and LOTI’s all-round strategic comms and engagement superstar. To hear Onyeka describe her work in her own words, please do revisit LOTI’s Year 2 Anniversary video below. We’re hugely grateful for all she’s done for the community as one of LOTI’s founding team members, and we wish her every success in her next steps!

If you’re up for having a go at following in her footsteps, we expect to launch the recruitment for her successor in early September.

Coming up this week

This week we’ll be:

  • Finalising briefs for work we plan to commission to help with our work on cyber security, data ethics and digital inclusion in temporary accommodation;
  • Completing and publishing plans for our work in September, so our community can hit the ground running after the summer break;
  • Making final additions to our Smart City Guide, before sending it out for borough feedback.

As always, be sure to follow LOTI on Twitter for all the latest news and updates.

Eddie Copeland
2 August 2021 ·
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