Hack events vital for improved digital services

Speaking after the latest LocalGovCamp ‘unconference’ held in Birmingham last weekend, Phil Rumens, vice chair of the LocalGov Digital network, said that public sector hack events which allow for greater collaboration on civic coding are essential to delivering better digital public services.

The hackathon prior to the event gathered representatives from local government organisations, the Government Digital Sevice (GDS), the NHS, Ordnance Survey, SMEs and the wider private sector, to tackle challenges facing councils and local bodies.

Rumens said: “We set three challenges, create a local public services search engine, create a place to highlight standards, schemas and pages, and build a good user journey for first time users.

“Front line staff and digital officers from Shropshire Council worked with the London Borough of Lambeth and others to create a user journey for a benefit claimant, showing that problems faced by a rural unitary council or an urban London borough can be the same and solved together.

 “Another group started to create a set of digital and data standards for service requests to councils. Another group started to create a way to highlight a project placed on GitHub for sharing and collaboration, by councils. This work will continue.”

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