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Ruli Pennington is senior healthcare writer for i-D Information Daily & a frequent contributor to Public Service Digital. She is passionate about better public services, devolution & women's football. From Jan 2017 Ruli will write leaders for i-D & PSD

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Better Connected Programme and Communities launches across public sector transformation space

Better Connected, the initiative best known up til now for Socitm’s annual surveys of councils’ online performance, has announced an enhanced year-round programme of activities and a new community forum service for local public services grappling with digital transformation.

"There are three streams to the Better Connected Programme," says programme director Vicky Sargent, "Better Connected Research, Better Connected Events and Better Connected Communities"

"Better Connected Research is familiar as the service that has surveyed, assessed and benchmarked local authority online performance for the last 17 years. During 2016 while we will continue the assessment of UK council websites - all 417 UK councils are currently tested to see how easy it is to complete tasks from a desktop or mobile device, and using assistive technologies - we will roll out a programme of research and associated activities to cover other local public services including integrated health and social care, housing and transport."

The focus will be on digital development of the most important local public services.

"We are looking forward to working in collaboration with representative organisations for major areas like planning, adult social care, libraries and waste management," says Sargent. "Research will also cover developments like customer accounts, digital engagement and communication, service design, assessment and authentication where services are based on need and/or eligibility".

Following the partnership between Socitm and Boilerhouse to develop Better Connected that came into effect 1 May 2015, Better Connected has moved all the research functions online and now publishes via betterconnected.socitm.net. Each council has its own pages and carries contextual demographic and socio-economic data as well as the councils performance results. This contextual data is soon to be augmented by related information about degrees of digital exclusion sourced from GO ON UK.

At the same time, Better Connected has announced that the 2016 ADASS Care Apps Showcase, scheduled for early November, will be run by the Better Connected Events team at Boilerhouse. The Better Connected Programme will also widen it's focus to include integrated health and social care and a number of sessions on the Better Connected Live programme (May 24 & 25) will launch the integrated health and social care initiatives, launch the ADASS Care Apps Showcase call for submissions and highlight the changes, events and milestones in 2016. 

The team has also launched Better Connected Communities delivered through a custom designed communities site hosted by Public Service Digital (PSD), offering best practice sharing, secure, peer-to-peer communications, peer group support and advice, discounts and other member privileges, and CPD accredited learning.

PSD is the dedicated online news and opinion platform for the Better Connected Programme which also covers the wider context of digital transformation of local public services. PSD publishes peer to peer, independent (produced by a full time editorial team) and sponsored content including web video, podcasts and written content. Find Better Connected Communities through the front page of PSD www.publicservicedigital.com

Contact the Better Connected team via betterconnected@socitm.net or T: 0121 643 9802 follow 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Connected Events

Better Connected Live (May 24th & 25th central Birmingham) is being organised in association with Socitm and the Local Public Services CIO Council and with support from partners including The Tinder Foundation; GO ON UK; The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management; The Society of Chief Librarians; The Planning Portal; and ADASS Informatics Network.

The two-day event features:

  •       The Re-invention of Local Public Services, a one-day conference with council chiefs, CIOs, and leading authorities on digital transformation, inclusion, empowerment and devolution
  •       Four half-day workshops for heads of key local public services, covering: waste and recycling; planning; adult social care; and libraries.
  •       Learning from Better Connected a full day programme for web and digital managers based on findings of the 2015-16 research and plans for 2016-17
  •       The Better Connected Awards and party

The ADASS Care Apps Showcase, now being run by the Better Connected Events team as part of a wider programme around digital care scheduled for early November will be previewed at Better Connected Live.

Better Connected Communities launched on 4th April offers best practice sharing; secure, peer-to-peer communications; peer group support and advice; discounts and other member privileges; and CPD accredited learning all delivered through a custom designed communities site hosted by Public Service Digital (PSD).

PSD is the dedicated online news and opinion platform for the Better Connected Programme which also covers the wider context of digital transformation of local public services. PSD publishes peer to peer, independent (produced by a full time editorial team) and sponsored content including web video, podcasts and written content. Find Better Connected Communities through the front page of PSD www.publicservicedigital.com

Better Connected Events team Vicky Sargent - programme director, Ather Abbas - event director, Ben Webber - marketing and sponsorship director on T: 0121 643 9802  E: a.abbas@boilerhouse.co.uk

 

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