Knowledge Hub, the Local Government Association’s professional social network, may be scrapped as part of a savings programme. The Guardian recently asked professionals working in local authorities what they thought of this potential move. According to them, this would work against the central government’s Digital by Default agenda which requires councils to be online-savvy. Moreover, it has the advantage of allowing people working on similar problems to collaborate while being geographically distant, and this would no longer be possible.
According to Carl Haggerty, chair of LocalGov Digital: “The LGA’s proposed decision is still in consultation and we urge everyone to give their views in a constructive way. We fundamentally believe that collaboration within the sector and with all those involved in local public services is critical if we are to help rethink how services are delivered.
It is worth noting that the LGA has started to play an active role in facilitation around the digital transformation agenda and has supported the LocalGov Digital Network’s approach.”
Below are two other professionals weighing in on the issue:
James Coltham, web manager for the children and families department at the City of Edinburgh council: The Knowledge Hub has the unique selling point of being the one single place where people passionate about delivering high quality public services can exchange views and work together.
We are faced with hard times where collaborative partnership working is crucial and meanwhile our workforce and citizens are demanding us to be digitally literate organisations, fit for the future. The Knowledge Hub is a key character in this story. Countless conversations will fall silent if it exits the stage with no suitable successor.
Vicky Sargent, consultant at Socitm: My experience of the Knowledge Hub is as a facilitator of one of the largest and most active communities on the platform. The Web Improvement Community, started in 2009, has nearly 1400 registered users. Our community has hosted some incredibly useful discussions on all manner of digital-related issues. Practitioners have offered information, knowledge and ideas, and in doing so provided valuable support to their peers. The value of a cross-sector community like the Knowledge Hub is to encourage connection and interaction between overlapping and intersecting communities.