Action to Regenerate Community Trust Building Open Data Sources /l
The Challenge In these times, when efficiency in both public and private sectors is so high on everyone’s agenda; services, support and resources need to be increasingly well-targeted. Alongside this government legislation is handing power over to communities to take a greater control over planning, budgeting and service delivery. However, communities are facing difficult times. An ever increasing democratic deficit means that whilst opportunities are being presented people do not feel able to inform, be effectively involved with, or influence decision making processes in their areas. Increased engagement and improved targeting with the right resource can only come from building strong relationships with communities and engaging in a deep dialogue. Collecting real data from real people through deep conversations about what matters most to people must be achieved; rather than working in broad brushstrokes and subjective opinion based on limited real-life input.
The Solution Root Solution - Listening Matters (RSLM) is a framework for a conversation that is delivered in a systematic way by our Community Animators (the people we train or employ to do the work) across a given neighbourhood. The conversations are recorded and the skills, talents and assets of local people mapped. People are met 1:1 in their homes, on the street, in the places where they are already at and are encouraged and enabled to bring people together to shape ideas, actions and initiatives and importantly network with others so that they can start to plan the actions, initiatives and campaigns that meet the needs of local people. What people love about their communities, as well as their concerns and aspirations are mapped digitally on an electronic system that also captures the things that they are prepared to do. Analytics show the possible actions and activity of local people who, when given the right tools, are then able to develop and deliver their projects, ideas and initiatives. By encouraging conversations and identifying and supporting leaders who emerge to act on the things that matter most enables communities to identify the things that they can do for themselves. Also, enabling communities to use the information that is gathered to inform, influence and work with service providers is key so that providers can build stronger relationships with communities and utilise the strengths, skills and assets of communities to deliver better and more sustainable provision. The solution is to create active and vibrant networks of communities facilitated by local people that can start to create and shape local provision that can best meet locally identified need. The confidence and capacity of communities will be developed so that they can engage with services and the recorded and mapped data will enable them to work better together to collaborate and co-productively deliver outcomes based on the strengths of communities.
The Achievement Inspired by a leading RSLM programme in Bath and North East Somerset that delivered financial returns to the public purse of over £1.1million the digital mapping technology is currently being trialled and developed in 6 neighbourhoods to capture the aspirations, skills and talents of over 5000 people. Working alongside key partners including Bath and North East Somerset Council and Swindon Borough Council the platform is providing key intelligence that can enable communities to direct how services are delivered and budgets allocated locally. The forward strategy is to scale this through the work of The Association of RSLM Practitioners (http://www.rslm.org) and work in 100 neighbourhoods capturing conversations with over 500,000 people. Then, we must ensure people are encouraged and supported to harness this information to be the driving force for change that their communities both want and need. Ac#on to Regenerate Community Trust © 2013