Three years after its formation (following the Government's Digital Challenge competition), DC10plus has considerable experience of what works in Digital Inclusion, and, perhaps just as importantly, what doesn't work. DC10plus is now moving into its second phase of development which involves rolling out successfully developed products to new local authorities and their partners.
DC10plus has carefully mapped its products against Local Area Agreement National Indicators and established that they make vital contributions to key local targets. Products have been developed in six work streams which map against priorities familiar to all local authorities. The work streams are:
• Communities Building Capacity - proving the vital contribution digital technologies can make to community development, community cohesion, and tackling worklessness.
• Digital Environment - driving forward the fight against climate change using digital technologies, and making sure the carbon footprint of the technologies themselves is reduced.
• Digital Switchover - utilising the switchover from analogue to digital television to build platforms for the digital delivery of local authority services.
• Next Generation Connectivity - creating well-targeted and innovative interventions for “next generation connectivity” (NGC) through the deployment of high-speed broadband (100 Mbs and above) using fibre, cable and wireless connectivity.
• Independent Living - aiming to improve citizens quality of life through making access to services easier and more time efficient, basing services around customer rather than provider needs, for example providing specific technologies such as assistive technologies and remote healthcare to help people with disabilities or dependency issues lead independent lives
• Regional Engagement - DC10 plus members work with partners in their regions to promote the take-up and use of digital technologies to tackle social exclusion and improve the places in which people live.
The current climate faces local government with many challenges, not least of which is dealing with increasing demands on its services at a time of tightening public resources. While it is by no means the only reason for seeking to adopt technological solutions, increased efficiency and effectiveness are proven outcomes of some of the successful DC10plus products. Adoption of DC10plus products offers local authorities and their partners opportunities to work together to achieve efficiency savings while meeting the needs of residents and businesses.
There are more than 20 DC10plus products which have been developed and tested by local authorities who are part of the network. These products are now at a stage where they are ready to be rolled out into new areas, by individual local authorities and their partners, and, in some cases, on a joint basis. Examples of products include:
• PC Loans Scheme - Developed by Milton Keynes Council with Microsoft, and has so far loaned around a 1000 used public sector computers to low-income residents. Has been also adopted by Sunderland and Durham.
• Welcome to Birmingham - A website providing access to information, advice and guidance for refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers.
• Techno Footprint - Developed by Connecting Bristol, a model for advising businesses about energy use and sustainability.
• DEHEMS - Manchester’s Digital Environmental Home Energy Management System (DEHEMS)
• Digital Media Guides - User friendly practical advice on planning and delivering meaningful digital media projects. Developed by Shropshire County Council.
•STREAM Personal TV - Developed in Hull, STREAM provides older people with access to locally relevant and personalised information, online services and communications through their television.
• E-Neighbourhoods Programme - Devised in Sunderland, a programme of capacity building and community development using ICT, focused on the most disadvantaged communities.
DC10plus is now seeking expressions of interest from local authorities and partner organisations wishing to explore the opportunity to adopt one or more of its products. If this interests you, please can you please add a comment to this post, and/or email your contact details to email@example.com confirming your interest in the potential to adopt one of more of the DC10plus products.
With special thanks to John Popham & Michael Dodd from Sero.
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