Norfolk, strategic drivers and creating an online presence

Some background on activity at Norfolk County Council (one of  the SmartCities partners, and also a EuroPetition cluster member). Gathered in advance of a visit…

  • My Norfolk was the County’s bid for the £7m national Digital Challenge provided by the partners in the Norfolk Ambition Community Strategy.This site tells you more about the bid and how it has been developed so far.

    “My Norfolk totally transforms the way the public and voluntary sector deliver services online and offline, by designing them around the needs and interests of the citizen.

    Core to the work will be raising the ability of the widest possible range of intermediaries to deliver this personalised and joined up service on behalf of all public and voluntary bodies in Norfolk and marketing and expanding the network of free access points…….”

The MyNorfolk bid didn’t win nationally, but nevertheless provides a good example of a co-design-based approach.

  • Corporate objectives for the 2008-2011 with 2009-2012 supplement to improve outcomes for Norfolk people.
    • Lead a strategic approach to the development of the Norfolk economy
    • Improve travel and transport
    • Help make Norfolk a safe place to live and work
    • Improve educational attainment & help children achieve their ambitions
    • Improve the health and well-being of Norfolk’s residents
    • Improve opportunities for people to learn throughout life
    • Protect and sustain the environment
    • Build vibrant, confident and cohesive communities
    • Improve and develop Norfolk’s cultural heritage and resourcesThree ‘organisational objectives’ specify how we want to work as a council.

    We know that we cannot do this alone. We believe that it is only by working with others that we can achieve our goals for Norfolk and we are committed to working with partners to deliver shared objectives.

And a couple of more techy links: tool and a strategy for making information about government activity available.

  • Another way of building a homepage out of others’ RSS feeds. Similar in concept to iGoogle, but much funkier in operation
  • Government data is being put online to increase accountability, contribute valuable information about the world, and to enable government, the country, and the world to function more efficiently. All of these purposes are served by putting the information on the Web as Linked Data. Whatever else, the raw data should be made available as soon as possible, preferably as Linked Data and linked to other sources. Nice user interfaces can be left to interested communities outside government.

    Linked Data technology allows any data communication to be composed of many mixed vocabularies. Each vocabulary is from a community, be it international, national, state or local; or specific to an industry sector. This optimizes the usual trade-off between the expense and difficulty of getting wide agreement, and the practicality of working in a smaller community. Effort toward interoperability can be spent where most needed.


About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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