What’s LOTI working on?


Three months into our second year, the LOTI community is a hive of activity.

Having recently laid out the three core pillars of our Year 2 Strategy, in this blog I’d like to share some specifics on the different things we’re working on between now and the end of 2020.

This slide (also pasted below) categorises our work by the five different ways in which we try to get useful stuff done together. I’ve outlined key details about each below.

Table showing how LOTI works on resources, products, projects, networks and campaigns

How LOTI Creates Value for Boroughs

Resources

We’re working to add to our resources library of guidance, tools and templates that can make boroughs’ lives easier. 

Digital, Data & Innovation capability models. Supported by Bloomberg Associates, we’re working to create reference models to articulate what “good” looks like in the fields of digital, data and innovation. As part of our drive to help boroughs become truly digitally-enabled organisations, the models will include a description of the roles, skills and technologies needed to do each well and the impact having those capabilities provides. Read more about this project.

Innovation in procurement guide. We’ll shortly share a guidance manual PUBLIC has produced with us on practical steps boroughs can take to improve their technology procurement processes.

Data access and API tender wording. We’ve developed some wording to be used in all future technology tenders to ensure IT suppliers give boroughs access to their data.

Assistive Technology results template. We’ve created a common template for boroughs to record results of their Assistive Technology trials so they capture sufficient information to inform the work of other councils.

Assistive Technology case studies. We’re currently conducting web research to compile examples of the use and effectiveness of Assistive Technologies to help build a library of interventions, using the results template above. Once complete, we’ll start capturing LOTI boroughs’ best AT examples via interviews.

Digital inclusion case studies. Following the seven examples of digital inclusion initiatives LOTI boroughs shared at our recent Digital Divide event, we’re conducting research to compile examples of best practice from around the world. 

Smart city cybersecurity guidance. With new cybersecurity principles from NCSC due shortly, we’re working with colleagues at Kingston and Sutton to put together practical guidance on how to assess and mitigate security vulnerabilities with smart tech.

Products

We’re working to create, find or negotiate better prices on tools that can enhance boroughs’ work. 

Building

Thirty3. LOTI boroughs are currently working to add data about their technology estates to the Thirty3 platform, which replaces City Tools. The platform, built by Nitrous London and supported by Proactis and Jaggear, will provide a one-stop-shop for searching the technologies boroughs use, and automatically pulls details of their latest tender opportunities in a way that’s more accessible to SMEs. 

✅ Dapian DPIA tool. LOTI was part of a group of councils who co-designed Dapian – a digital platform for improving the way Data Privacy Impact Assessments are created. We’re currently working to roll out this tool across all LOTI boroughs.

Electric Vehicle Charge Point Dashboard. This dashboard sits on the London DataStore and shows the location and usage of EV Charge points. Work is underway to overlay data on future demand to help borough officers make more informed decisions about where to locate charge points next. 

Curating

Social Value Exchange & Yokeru. Where boroughs have had a positive experience with certain products, we’re working to raise awareness within the LOTI community. At our last all-member workshop, we highlighted the work of Social Value Exchange, which helps councils maximise the benefits they receive from the social value portion of large contacts; and Yokeru, which provides intelligent and automated mass-calling.

Negotiating Deals

Devices via LGfL / Corporate deals. We’re in close contact with London Grid for Learning, who have been doing incredible work to negotiate significantly reduced prices on devices and data packages, which can support boroughs’ digital inclusion work. Meanwhile, we’re in touch with a range of corporates who are interested in offering deals for LOTI boroughs.

✅ Information Sharing Gateway. LOTI and GLA have arranged for this platform, which significantly improves the process of creating Information Sharing Agreements, to be freely available to London boroughs.

Projects

We’re working to run or support projects that further our collective knowledge and create new resources. 

Rapid Proof of Concept

Data Exchange with the VCS. This MHCLG funded project, led by Camden and project managed by FutureGov, focuses on the question: “How can we overcome the data sharing challenges between councils and the voluntary community sector that stop organisations being able to find and provide residents the right support when they need it?”. A report and user manual will be published shortly. Pilots are expected to follow in Camden and Central Bedfordshire. Read more.

Public Engagement Playbook. Colleagues from Kingston, Sutton and Waltham Forest are working on an MHCLG funded project to explore how digital tools and methods can improve public engagement, particularly in light of Covid. Read more about our work on digital democracy.

✅ Assistive Technology pilots. As part of our work on Assistive technology, LOTI is supporting pilots being designed and run in Hackney, Greenwich and Waltham Forest.

✅ Community Resilience. We’re working with boroughs to replicate and build upon a project started in Camden, which aims to get front line staff working directly with local residents to co-design solutions that can improve life during Covid. 

Sustained Endeavour

✅ Information Governance. As you may have spotted in my last blog, I’ve written to all London boroughs to strongly encourage them to implement six measures that the LOTI community has designed to improve data sharing in London. 

Innovation in Procurement tenders. Acting on data from Thirty3, and rehearsing how to use the new guidance from PUBLIC, Hounslow will be leading work with boroughs who plan to renew their housing services technology shortly. It’s a chance to see how boroughs can work together to shape the Govtech market.

Networks

LOTI hosts a number of networks that aim to increase peer support and skills and knowledge sharing between boroughs. This includes:

Digital Apprentices. Our network of LOTI digital apprentices, which includes the provision of regular skills training sessions with the likes of Microsoft and AWS.

Digital Apprentice Managers. Our network for the managers of digital apprentices.

LOTI Data Managers. A network of Data Managers and Analysts interested in tackling common challenges and sharing approaches across London boroughs. They meet fortnightly.

LOTI Data Scientists. A network of Data Scientists (and analysts learning to code) from London boroughs interested in building collaborative resources and getting training on specific data science techniques. 

Campaigns

We can speak on behalf of boroughs to influence others to do something or to help them. 

Covid Data Issues. We’ve been working to lobby government, PHE and NHS Digital for improvements to Covid shielding and Test & Trace data. LOTI and the GLA recently shared boroughs’ concerns in a submission to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Call for Evidence. This week we’re meeting with PHE and NHS digital to raise boroughs’ concerns directly.

Engagement with Ofcom on analogue to digital switchover in Telecare. Our work on Assistive Technology has highlighted boroughs’ concerns with the analogue to digital switchover. We’re engaging with Ofcom and other industry partners to ensure we can provide useful information direct to boroughs.

For the latest on all LOTI’s activities, follow us on Twitter.

by Eddie Copeland
3 November 2020 ·