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A new trend in online community engagement?

A guest blog by @EthanOhs on starting an online community of practice I remember first coming across the 90:9:1 rule around 2008. At the time the organisation I was working for was building their own online community. As the recession of 2008 took its toll and restructuring occurred I found myself learning about online communities and supporting a colleague as he started ours. In my mind our online community was doomed from the start – largely because there wasn’t a good reason for people to log on and interact. In the years that have followed I have often advised other organisations to avoid building or creating separate web platforms to ...

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Fragmented funding for local growth 2016/17

In 2014, Shared Intelligence worked with Local Government Association (LGA) to undertake research into the funding landscape of the coalition government. The report was written in light of the LGA’s Rewiring Public Services: Rejuvenating Democracy campaign in which ambitious proposals were presented to give local areas greater control over public money. This report was published under the title Fragmented Funding. Following the changes to the government and priorities in 2016, Si and the LGA updated the analysis of central government funding streams for local economic development and regeneration. In addition to the 2014 report, we considered the ability of local authorities to influence funding streams at a local level, gauging ...

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Our Place offers real route for public services to reduce costs and innovate

As we travelled the country researching Our Place, from Knowsley on Merseyside, via Bradford, and Leicester, down to Torquay in Devon, a familiar picture emerged.  A certain type of community-led organisation was using this Government funded programme as a catalyst for developing innovative, user-focused ways to meet the needs of their communities especially around health, skills, and employment.  Typically these were organisations with just a dozen or so staff, a sphere of influence no more than a few miles wide, strong and impatient leadership, and a clear focus on goals and actions.  There were similarities in the language they used and their savviness about tying actions to funders’ published outcomes.  ...

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Our Community – Our Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge that, in return for their service, society will “acknowledge and understand that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect”. It is a step to remove any disadvantage that members of the Armed Forces Community might face as a result of their service. We were commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Local Government Association (LGA) to research local delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant, with the presumption that delivery across England, Scotland and Wales was inconsistent. Our research consisted of the following: -     Literature review; ...

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Milton Keynes: Making a Great City Greater

It is unusual to see unanimous cross party consensus in the council chamber supported by the wholehearted endorsement of the voluntary and community sector. It is particularly unusual for that consensus to be built around a future scenario that includes substantial economic and housing growth. But that is what happened during the debate on the 20th July on the recommendations of the Milton Keynes 2050 Futures Commission report: Milton Keynes – making a Great City Greater. Cynthia Griffin, Si’s MD reflects on what has made the findings in the report so compelling and Si’s involvement in the process. The Milton Keynes 2050 Commission was established last year by Milton Keynes ...

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MK Futures 2050

This morning MK Futures 2050 launched its report detailing an ambitious vision for the future of Milton Keynes. Throughout this process Shared Intelligence has supported the work of MK Futures 2050 and we are extremely confident it will help Milton Keynes become an even greater city. You can read the full report, summary and commission working papers here.

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The Queen’s speech and social reform: where do we go from here?

Matthew Kaye, Consultant writes David Cameron used the Queen’s Speech this week to put forward a programme of social reform, including changes to prisons, schools and adoption. Headline measures included: – Prison governors being given more freedom to improve education and health provision in a bid to cut reoffending rates in a prison and courts reform bill. – Schools will only be forced to become academies in poorer-performing areas. – A children and social work bill encouraging local authorities to prioritise adoption over short-term foster placements for children in care. But there appears to be confusion at the heart of the programme over whether devolving power from the centre or ...

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The Apprenticeship Levy: from transition to implementation

Matthew Kaye explains how the apprenticeship levy will work, and why supporting apprenticeships is such a common feature of Si’s work on economic growth for clients across the country. From April 2017, a new apprenticeship levy on company payrolls of businesses with a wage bill of more than £3 million will be used to fund three million apprenticeships. This follows on from the Coalition Government’s fulfilment of its pledge to start two million apprenticeships over the course of the last Parliament. How will the levy work? The levy will be set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s gross pay bill. However, each employer will be given a £15,000 ...

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The 2016 European Capital of Innovation winner has been announced

Matthew Kaye, Consultant writes On Friday 8 April, Amsterdam were crowned the 2016 European Capital of Innovation in Brussels at an award ceremony in Brussels. Amsterdam was chosen ahead of eight other shortlisted finalists, claiming €950,000 to scale up and expand its innovation activities. The award looks for the European city that is building the best “innovation ecosystem” – connecting citizens, public organisations, academia and business, demonstrating that it is “a place to bring ideas to life”. This was the second iteration of the Capital of Innovation, with Barcelona the first winners in 2014 for its use of technology for the benefit of its residents. Oxford Oxford was one of ...

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Our ESF evaluation for Welsh Government – measuring social outcomes remains the challenge

Evaluation of the ESF-LSB Project for the Welsh Government Si was part of the team that delivered a three-year evaluation (2012-2015) of the European Social Fund Local Service Board Development and Priority Delivery Project (ESF-LSB Project) commissioned by the Welsh Government. The ESF-LSB Project received funding with the intention of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public services through more effective collaborative working and building the capacity of public services to deliver higher quality services. The evaluation was established to assess: - whether the ESF-LSB Project has led to better public services and outcomes for citizens; - how the processes by which the Project has been implemented and managed have ...

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