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Blog - Co-creating a City Data Sharing Toolkit

At Future Cities Catapult we’re developing a City Data Sharing Toolkit for those working in, and with, local government. The content of the Toolkit will be based on the work that the Catapult has been involved with, as well as research with ‘data sharing experts’ from around the country.

On Wednesday we held an initial workshop to co-create content for the Toolkit and make sure that it was tailored to the needs of those looking to undertake data sharing projects.

Attendees came from across the public sector as well as regionally. Contingents from Sheffield and Manchester city councils helped ground the conversation in the realities of sharing data between public sector organisations. We had a number of attendees from SMEs keen to understand the considerations of sharing data with the public sector. We were also fortunate to have data sharing experts such as Jacqui Taylor from Flying Binary, who is the author of data sharing guidance from the British Standards Institute, as well as Michael Mulquin, an associate for our City Data Standards Network.

Why co-create?

One of the main messages of the City Data Sharing Toolkit will be the necessity of organisational collaboration in running cities. Even where there is an overarching government body responsible for the delivery of services (e.g. City Region) they are unlikely to be running every organisation which is contributing. For instance, even though the Mayor of London is responsible for Transport for London, there are still many mobility services in London run by private companies (eg taxis, bike hire) and private citizens (cars). In order for all of those involved to run their services effectively there will need to be co-ordination and this co-ordination will ultimately be mediated through the sharing of data.

Therefore the expertise about data sharing is spread across a number of organisations and everyone has a slightly different take on, and analysis of, the situation. In order to build a more or less over-arching Toolkit for data sharing we’re having to bring together lots of different perspectives on the situation to build a joined up picture. This was the main motivating reason for the design of our co-creation workshop and for trying to get as much input from different stakeholders as possible.

What’s next?

Following the workshop we’re now synthesising all of the contributions into the final draft of the Toolkit. We’re also developing the visual language, designing a couple of new tools and tightening up the content and narrative for the launch of the Toolkit at the end of the month.

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