Innovation In Local Government: We’re Just Getting Started

Local Government lost one of its true innovators recently – and one whose vision for digital innovation in local services will live on for decades to come.

First of all, Michael Jennings was, 
among many achievements, the 
man responsible for ensuring
 the digitising of Ordnance
 Survey mapping for local
 government in the early 2000’s,
 ensuring local government had widely embedded GIS mapping for services years before any other sector. He was for many years a director at Surrey CC – but perhaps more notably he was one of those of officers who gave as much commitment to sharing best practice and innovation as he did to his day job. He represented the whole of British local government in using computerised mapping to improve services.

Under his oversight, we invented the standard for referencing property, created the means by which a national dataset, is maintained on a daily basis, and created what became the benchmark by which all service data across all local public services is brought together. As a sector we have lost a wonderful representative of local services – but I think Michael would be delighted to see the legacy he left. As a not for profit, iESE was founded to research and share best practice.

Local government innovation is still happening as it continues face unprecedented financial challenges

iESE has been investing in new tools that can be used to modernise the transformation process. We have been working with partners, not just the UK but around the world, tools that allow us to rapidly model ways of organising services and see the differences in the bottom line.

On top of this we have been researching best practice on how local public services are organised. Therefore, when we bring these tools and research together it creates new opportunities. We can model these as is, but also rapidly model the different best practice and innovation options and tailor them to our circumstances.

The combination of digital tools and research takes sharing best practice to a whole new level – you can rapidly model new ways of working, understand the financial implications and the tools, then become a means to manage the transformation itself.

The digital modelling of public services to improve efficiency and effectively target our increasingly-scant resources shows that local government innovation is still happening as it continues face unprecedented financial challenges.

All in all, I think Michael would be pretty proud of that.

Read more about the iESE Transformation framework here.

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