Make It Local – The Birmingham Civic Dashboard
1st October 2010
competition. Following the event that we held in Faraday Wharf back in the Summer there were a number of bids made by local councils with digital Small/Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). Afterwards we were approached by Mudlark who had the idea of creating a Birmingham Civic Dashboard.
The application we have specified together will take a daily report of those contacts from the general public that request a service from the city. From that a “heatmap” of the city will be shown on a website. This will allow people to look at the issues raised in their area and also see how efficiently they are resolved by the city. It will also show people just some of the many services provided by the city council. This will build up over time to provide an historic record for citizens.
Initially the dashboard will include a subset of the requests that are made each day, but it is hoped that this will expand as the city’s Customer First Business Transformation programme rolls out
We will place the heatmap next to a forum or other area for discussion where people can go to talk about the meaning of the data shown on the map. So, if dumped rubbish seems to be a particular problem in your area, why is that? And what could you do with the council to prevent it being such a problem? We are really hoping that this becomes a tool for us as citizens to talk to people delivering services to try and make our city a better place to live.
The service will also provide the ability for hyperlocal bloggers to embed images from the service and write posts about what it means to them. It will also provide a focus for local and neighbourhood managers which can inform discussions they have with citizens about their areas. We certainly think that this is a tool that can help support some of the ideas that the Chamberlain Forum developed in their recent Looking Sideways report for example.
I’ll finish now, before I start claiming all manner of things, but I hope you’ll see that we are excited about the possibilities of the Birmingham Civic Dashboard. We have tried to be as collaborative as we can be on this project and intend to continue to be, so watch out for further updates, either here or on the Nesta project blog.