One of the key messages we’ve heard throughout the project has been “We know that better information sharing makes sense, but in order to get the investment in improving it, we need evidence of the difference it makes”. That’s why we’ve been collecting examples of what has worked (and why), to provide practical guidance and a bit of encouragement to anyone facing similar challenges.
So far, the majority of the case studies we’ve developed have come from the three areas in which the IISaM project work was piloted – Leicestershire, Greater Manchester and Bradford. But as the scope of IISaM expands, we need to look outside those areas to hunt out and share the good practice in other localities, organisations and departments. We also want to make sure that the case studies cover lots of the different facets of information sharing – using aggregate data for understanding an area or an issue, including how to aggregate data up from case level; sharing information to improve the way services are delivered to service users; anonymising information to measure the success of an intervention; and all the other myriad ways in which data makes a difference daily.
So we’re working on a short set of principles, which outline the things you might want to know if you think that you’ve learnt some lessons you’d be willing to share via IISaM. And we’re working to reach out via other networks, in order to find those areas of good practice. At the LGA conference earlier this week, the Secretary of State announced that the Public Service Transformation Network will be supporting nine areas of the country to apply the principles of Community Budgeting to their local service delivery. Information sharing will be vital in making that approach successful, so IISaM will be working closely with the network to support and learn from those areas.
We’re also going to build on the connections we have in local areas, to make sure that the networks which already exist to support information sharing are recognised and made more widely known. In the IISaM pilot areas, New Economy are taking forward the training developed to introduce people to the information sharing journey and toolkit; and partners such as iNetwork offer support to colleagues across the North of England. So the question is – do you have lessons you could share? Are you part of a network that IISaM should be talking to? And who else could help? As ever, let us know your thoughts.