Making the most of the community-led data and ‘lived experience’ stories in Milton Keynes

About the project

Between January – April 2021 we are working on a new Catalyst-funded project, starting in January 2021.

We have been awarded funding from the COVID-19 Digital Response Fund, an joint funding programme from The National Lottery Fund and the CAST (Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology) to take part in the Catalyst Development Project. This is following our participation in the earlier Discovery phase of this funding programme, which proved the need for further work and informed the next phase of the project.

The challenge we want to address

A key issue we picked up on, which has been felt particularly strong during the last few months of the pandemic, was that despite a vast amount of intelligence at grassroots level, there are not systems in place to understand the whole picture, identify gaps and ensure vulnerable people are not left behind. The voluntary sector needs to be involved in producing and then using digital solutions to make a difference at system level. We know that we gather a huge wealth of data representing the lived experience of our local communities.

Exploring technical solution

The aim of our project is to co-develop a cost-effective and accessible tool for recording, analysing and sharing community data within our local VCSE sector to enable us to identify needs within our communities (particularly among those that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic) – to work collaboratively within the sector to address these needs and to have a powerful bank of intelligence to share with our local policy and decision makers, and with other sectors (e.g. public health, local authority etc). 

The Development project will run between January – March 2021 and will see us working with a digital partner, Mosaic Digital Consultants, on understanding the data we need to capture and designing a tool for collecting, analysing and sharing it.

Co-production and input from our local groups

We would like to thank all of the local organisations who contributed to the project in its Discovery phase and look forward to working with a wide range of groups in the next stage of the project. It is a short-term, 10-week long project, but we are really keen to involved as many groups as possible. We will be letting you know about the opportunities to get involved – through this project page, the Medium platform (see below) and through our newsletter. However, If you have any questions or would like more information on the project/ are interested in getting involved, please get in touch on info@communityactionmk.org.

What’s next…

We are embracing the open learning/working principles as part of this project and will be posting regular updates about the development of the project on this page as well as through the Medium platform here: communityactionmk.medium.com – visit it to see our weekly notes about our work on the project!