Knowledge Hub Advisory Group

The second meeting of the Knowledge Hub Advisory Group took place yesterday, 7th December. ( For some background to the Knowledge Hub see previous posting).

It was regretable that we didn’t get more attendees from local authorities, but those who did manage to attend were involved in some excellent workshop sessions aimed at teasing out their vision for how the Knowledge Hub would deliver efficiency and performance improvements for the local government sector. This was a valuable exercise because we managed to put some flesh and bones onto what has been up until now an abstract concept for many people. Before reporting on the outcomes from the meeting, a brief summary of the terms of reference for the Advisory Group:

The Advisory Group membership will be made up of technical and social innovators and local authority officers each with practical experience in helping deliver Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 solutions within the public sector or workplace, and with experience in cultivating a culture of knowledge sharing and self-development. The Advisory Group will:

  • Provide technical advice and strategic insight for the procurement and development of the technical platform.
  • Identify opportunities and sources for seeding and pump-priming content for the knowledge hub.
  • Provide expert advice in the development of a new ‘knowledge ecology’ for the sector, where the sector can learn from its own experience and where barriers to participative learning can be identified and resolved.
  • Advise on new and emerging knowledge sharing techniques such as social reporting, narrative & storytelling, and development of games for simulation of behaviours.
  • Identify training needs and other support requirements for the sector.
  • Provide on-going help in resolving problems and provide a quality assurance function for the Programme.

The main element of the meeting was a workshop session where delegates worked on two scenarios and my thanks to Ingrd Koehler for making these both challenging and a reflection of the sort of issues facing local authority staff.

Scenario 1

You work with Hubville City Council. You are new to the Youth Offending Team. In a meeting with the Performance Officer in charge of LAA (Local Area Agreement) monitoring and another officer from the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership you discover that councillors are concerned that your area doesn’t look on track to meet a key monitoring figure for its LAA : NI 111 (national indicator) – First time entrants to the Youth Justice System aged 10-17. It’s a single measure, but part of a wider set of priorities about reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour among youth in general – and in some ‘blighted’ communities in particular. You are going to conduct a snapshot review of your current programme and try to identify a network of people who can help you. How will Knowledge Hub help you to: Identify your current performance and compare it with others. Understand how you can track and monitor information which might be related to or influence NI 111 (for example – reported crimes, prosecution rates, NI 117 the number of 16-18 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs))

  1. Know what ‘best in class’ are doing
  2. Identify people locally who are working on similar issues
  3. Identify people across the country who are at the same stage in your improvement journey.
  4. Find resources to help you deliver improvement against NI 111
  5. Share your story and help others find the resources that worked for you.

Map your journey using the paper and materials provided. How will you come into the hub? What will it look like? What data sources do you expect to find? How will you navigate through it? How will you others be able to see and learn from what you’re doing? What ‘new’ data, aggregated data or mashups do you expect to create with the resources you have found? How will you make these new resources available to others?

Use the sheets provided, markers, stickers, etc to draw your map.

Output from Scenario 1

Scenario 2:

You work for Hubville Primary Care Trust. You’ve never worked for local government, but now you’re looking at working with Hubville City Council on a partnership target of reducing: National Indicator (NI) 39 Rate of hospital admission for 100,000 population for alcohol related harm. As well as a serious problem with binge drinking among young people, there is an older workless population with a high incidence of alcohol related illness. This has only gotten worse since the Hubville Automated Industries closed down last year. As people in the council don’t feel the direct financial impact of this indicator you have to work to influence council partners and other local public service, business and voluntary sector partners. You know something about Local Area Agreements and the local strategic partnership, but you’re unsure how to find out all the information you need. How will Knowledge Hub help you to:

  1. Identify your current performance and compare it with others and identify how the council’s performance is contributing to this indicator.
  2. Understand how you can track and monitor information which might be related to or influence NI 39 (for example NI 20: Assault with injury crime rate NI 21: Dealing with local concerns about anti-social behaviour and crime issues by the local council and police )
  3. Know what ‘best in class’ are doing
  4. Identify people locally who are working on similar issues
  5. Identify people across the country who are at the same stage in your improvement journey
  6. Find resources to help you deliver improvement against NI 39
  7. Share your story and help others find the resources that worked for you.

Use the sheets provided, markers, stickers, etc to draw your map.

Output from Scenario 2:

The key fetaures that surfaced from this mapping process process were:

  1. A central dashboard function, allowing you to choose types of information and subject areas – it would allow you to see what’s new, what’s hot and what’s relevant to you
  2. High levels of personalisation – you can choose your own dashboard – the functions that you want, but at the same time it would help you make links to things you didn’t know existed.
  3. It would allow you to make associations with ‘people like me’ – those who had similar responsibilities in their work – as well as to identify ‘experts’ in different specialised areas. Or be recognised as an expert yourself.
  4. It would make it easy to share your experience and your views – even if you didn’t always know that you were doing so – that is – just the fact that 20 performance officers in a council had downloaded a document would have more weight than if no one had – or that only external consultants had.
  5. It would help central and local government facilitate the development of a community (of interest or practice) around a particular indicator, where the community would define the performance parameters and measurement criteria for the indicator.

We followed this up with a Knowledge Cafe, where we posed the questions:

  • What social media skills are required to navigate and share information and stories of improvement?
  • What’s the best way of explaining what the Knowledge Hub has to offer? (i.e. it’s not just another website)

Outputs from these discussions as follows:

And finally, the wrap-up courtesy of David Wilcox, Social Reporter:

So, grateful thanks to all who attended the meeting and for both arcticulating and mapping out for us what the Knowledge Hub is all about. The next stage is conveting all this into a real product – which is well underway as part of the procurement process. The next meeting of the Advisory Group will be in the first quarter of 2010.

In the mean time, if you’d like to contribute to the conversations around the Knowledge Hub, head over to Social by Social and join the Khub Group.

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About Steve Dale

Stephen Dale is both an evangelist and practitioner in the use of Web 2.0 technologies and Social Media applications to support personal development and knowledge sharing. He has a deep understanding of how systems and technology can be used to support learning and facilitate smarter working, where connections and conversations are the key to self-development and creativity within the organisation.
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