LOTI: Weeknote 53

Covid-19 Recovery

Following confirmation that two LOTI-backed projects were successful in bidding for funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government-19 Challenge, we met with some of our boroughs to discuss how to take their projects forward.

We met with Sudip Trivedi (Acting Chief Information Officer and the Head of Data and Analytics for London Borough of Camden) and partners from Central Bedfordshire to discuss delivery of the ‘Improving data exchange between local authorities, partners and the Voluntary Community Services (VCS)‘ project. It was interesting to learn more about their initial thinking and plans to create a map of needs and local strengths. The broader strategy is to work on a discovery process, using LOTI’s Outcomes-Based methodology, with councils and VCS partners to understand the issues they’ve faced when trying to exchange data and how they might be addressed.

We also learned a little more about Kingston and Sutton’s ‘Community engagement playbook’ proposal. The idea is to develop a community engagement guide that will include systems and tools that councils can use for public meetings, citizen assemblies and statutory consultations.

Beyond the MHCLG bids, we caught up with Assistive Technology (AT) leads from Waltham Forest, Greenwich, Hackney, and Kingston and Sutton to discuss how AT might play a role in supporting residents to live more independently during Covid recovery. Borough leads suggested pilots on areas such as respiratory self-monitoring, falls detectors, and conducting social work assessments and appointments via video link.

Following the work we did in year one to standardise evaluations of AT pilots across LOTI boroughs, the conversation moved on to how to tackle some of the underlying barriers boroughs face in using AT well. A lack of standards and interoperability between legacy AT systems and newer commercial products is already causing challenges. As boroughs seek to integrate digital technology into their housing and care service provision, it’s likely LOTI will hold a discovery process to understand these barriers and see where LOTI can help.

Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity

We met with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), and colleagues from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Centre for the Protection of Public Infrastructure to discuss the cybersecurity aspects of boroughs’ smart city initiatives.

NCSC is developing a new set of cybersecurity principles, on which they’d value borough feedback. With several LOTI boroughs launching IoT-related initiatives to support economic recovery and highstreet renewal, this was timely, and we’ll be working to connect boroughs with the best available cybersecurity support, helping them embed security by design, and proactively shape future smart city policy changes.

Building on this and our work in IoTWeek, we spent last week reviewing a cybersecurity proposal for IoT deployments that’s been developed by a team of researchers from UCL. The aim of this would be to create a method and a supporting tool to help borough officers to effectively assess cyber-resilience of the smart street infrastructure they procure through a standardised framework. We’re still exploring the ways in which we can best support boroughs through recovery, and Covid-19 has highlighted the need to ensure that critical services can keep running securely in event of natural disaster or a cyber-attack. With boroughs now planning to deploy IoT devices in London’s streets, it’s important that we mitigate against the security and other risks. Service failures can have a much broader impact, affecting not only the service itself but any dependent services and the surrounding environment.

Our IoTWeek framework sought to pool together the advice and guidance available and create a common approach for boroughs. We discussed the need, identified in IoTWeek, for borough officers to better understand and assess these risks, potential solutions and their responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Londoners.

We will be exploring the potential of supporting UCL with creating a checklist and developing a process for updating this, to support borough officers’ understanding of smart city service resilience and risks.

Sharing our ways of working

In case you missed it, Onyeka (Strategic Engagement Manager, LOTI) joined Future of London’s ‘Learning from Crisis’ roundtable on ‘Making Equality the ‘New Normal’ with senior and next-wave leaders last week. She shared how LOTI’s commitment to transparency and working in the open with a cross-section of borough officers have helped to tackle some of the common challenges around breaking down silos and homogenous leadership. You can watch the full clip on YouTube.

This week

This week, the LOTI Central Team will be:

  1. Holding the latest virtual learning sessions for Digital Apprentices, in partnership with Microsoft. Click here to see the full programme and register to attend.
  2. Holding our latest virtual meet-up for Data Analysts in London boroughs. If you’d like to attend, please register here.
  3. Launching a new project on innovation in procurement, designed to help boroughs understand when and how they can use outcomes-based procurement methods to get more value from the technology they use.

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Eddie Copeland
3 August 2020 ·
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