The Local Government Association (LGA) has invited local councils to apply for funding under its Digital Experts scheme to help develop and share digital innovations amongst local authorities.
The scheme has identified that councils face unprecedented demand for services at a time when budgets are set to be cut by up to 40% from levels in 2010, and therefore require technology to streamline efficiencies and provide improved access to services for consumers.
The LGA said that “councils have been effectively implementing a range of different tools and approaches to improve access to services as well as deliver savings, for years.
“The Digital Experts programme seeks to build on this good work by enabling more councils use the sector’s knowledge and expertise to benefit their communities as well.”
Digital Experts will provide support for developing business cases, acquiring relevant skills or expertise, invest is particular technologies, work within the community and provide any other necessary support.
According to the LGA, prospective applicants must demonstrate how their project will deliver savings for their council as well as some of the following outcomes:
- Support increased levels of online self-service with those residents who want to do so, reducing demand across other channels
- Support activities to tackle digital exclusion
- Harness social media channels to better engage with and communicate with their communities
- Enable their workforce to work more effectively including while out of the office
- Work more effectively with partners and community groups
£10,000 is available for individual proposals and multiple authorities working together can receive up to £25,000 under the scheme.
Applications for the funding close on Friday 23rd January 2015 with proposals expected to outline the nature of the project, with expected outcomes, and demonstrate how the implementation will deliver savings, how the funding will be used and whether it is transferrable to other local authorities.