Our project wishes to bring joined-up digital thinking to the thorny problem of directory-based information. Every local authority, health organisation, police force, together with other voluntary sector partners are attempting to maintain some form of directory-based information. Aside from the basic fact that this is difficult information to curate in an accurate and meaningful manner, typically there is little join-up, no data standards, quality assurance and little in the way of automated data harvesting via APIs.
Our conversations in Devon across different local authorities, health, police and the voluntary sector have convinced us that there is merit in undertaking discovery work to understand what a ‘directory as a service’ could and should look like in 2018. This is based on several years of trying to maintain such a directory (current iteration at https://www.pinpointdevon.co.uk/).
By pooling resources around a single directory, built on a common data standard, with best of breed APIs, any single partner, GP practice or any third party can build an interface to sit on top that suits their audience. This could include social prescribing, NHS Directory of Services and 111, and aligns with the broad requirement for all public sector agencies to support prevention strategies and signpost to community-based help and support. It also supports statutory duties around provision of eg child care information, universal information offer around Care Act, the Local Offer etc.
Such an approach offers the potential to provide an intelligence function to identify which communities are lacking certain forms of support, or lacking investment.
Other local authorities we have had interest form include:
- Adur and Worthing
- Hertfordshire CC
- Norfolk CC
- Somerset CC
- Kent CC
- Introduction to service design
- Introduction to delivery management
- Introduction to digital business analysis
- Agile for teams