Earlier this week, on the auspicious day of April 1st, the Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing officially came into being. The Centre, which is a partnership between central and local government, builds on the work originally started by the IISaM project, but expands it across the whole of England. We’ll also be working on a range of policy areas – wherever the transformation of public services relies on information sharing to succeed. In order to do that, over the next few months, we will be recruiting; if you think you might want to get involved (we’re open to secondments, part time or short term roles), why not drop us a line? It’s an exciting time to get involved!
It’s also an exciting time over at the Public Service Transformation Network – not least with the launch of their new website. We work closely with the Transformation Network, providing information sharing support to their 13 local areas as they understand the needs in their area, and redesign their services accordingly. The Transformation Network themselves also had announcements to make this week, including the news that there is a further £410 million to distribute to local areas to accelerate their transformation plans, and the announcement that an independent Service Transformation Challenge Panel is being set up, to advise on what needs to happen locally and nationally to support transformative work.
Of particular interest to those of us with an interest in information is the launch of the Cost Benefit Analysis framework, which allows local areas to consider the financial impact of their proposed changes, and the Evaluation guide. We know how hard it is to measure the impact of changes to services on the lives of service users – that becomes even more tricky when you want to evaluate the contribution of information sharing to making that happen. So one of our key activities for the coming months will be to capture more case studies and stories from the areas we work with, to help build an evidence base on the role of information sharing.