"In December, we finished the first (if you don't count the prototype) Nominet Trust Academy. A 16 week, one week on, one week off programme, for any Nominet Trust funded project to attend. The main purpose of the Academy was to create a learning environment that would build the capacity of participants’ projects to be scaled and/or sustained.
Using data to create maps of various kinds is an intriguing and entertaining process: but is it useful? Could such maps make us unjustifiably confident that we know where we are, and where we should be going?
An influential Scottish organisation which promotes independent living has become the latest group to join Go ON Gold.
The Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF) aims to remove barriers to equality and is also the umbrella body for 50 volunteer led Access Panels across the country.
“We work with many organisations to influence Scottish Government policies which affect how we live”, says SDEF manager Susan Grasekamp. “We also work with Access Panels across Scotland who provide advice and support to disabled people in their local communities.
Last weekend was a big weekend for us. We put superheroes, techy developers, lay office types and a bunch of cool young people in a room and gave them the power to change the world through social action. Luckily for us, they knew how!
The venue: very generously donated by Forward Foundation, also came with the sharp mind of Sam, a developer there to make sure we keep a link to reality.
As a social investor we're inescapably dependent on data from the organisations we support if we wish understand our own impact. They too must have their data dependencies: service-users, staff, partner organisations, open data sources or all of the above. Yet 'extracting' the data we're after from our working relationships can be tricky: we none of us enjoy filling in forms at others' behest.
What can we learn from one of our projects about how to go about it?
About 15 people came together to look at various aspects of Bristol data as part of a HackReduce session at the weekend (South West Big Data). Here’s some charts showing life expectancy at birth gathered from Open Data released by Bristol council. The data was fetched from data.bristol.gov.uk and the Python code I used to generate the charts is included as a link in the results.
“They are really interacting – and it is what should be happening – all enjoying the time that they are spending together. Residents have been involved in BBQ parties but nothing that was as effective as the Gen2Gen project.”Regional Manager
Most people involved in social investment want to know if their efforts are making a positive difference, but seeking to demonstrate attribution (linking changes observed to a specific intervention) can be far from straightforward, and might even be the wrong question to ask.
Our Digital Inclusion Through Schools (DITS) intergenerational project is based in a predominantly rural area where access to services is difficult, particularly for older people. Access to the internet can really enhance the lives of people in later life and we aim through our project to increase the number of older 'Silver Surfers' . We are working with local schools and the library service who allow us to use their facilities free of charge. The pupils at the schools become the 'Tutors' and they work on a one to one basis with the older people who are the 'Pupils.