We have created the MK Community Data Tool to enable the local Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise Sector to work together to ensure that real lived experience and grass roots needs are understood in order to improve life in MK for all.

The tool will enable our local VCSE groups to record their intelligence in one place, which can then be analysed, shared and communicated. The aim is to have a collective bank of intelligence that can be used to influence the local decision and policy-making, so that our local services reflect the needs Milton Keynes’ residents. See more here.

Since developing the tool, we have had the chance to speak about it to a number of different teams and colleagues across the sectors. We have also contributed to various research projects such as the NAVCA-led: “Making better use of VCSE data & intelligence” and the ‘Embedding VCSE in ICS’ projects – as part of this last piece of research, our CEO, Clare Walton provided a video case study, describing the tool and how it came about, and highlighting the importance (and value!) of the data gathered by the VCSE sector. You can which you can watch the video below.

You can access the tool online: mkcommunitydata.co.uk 

How does the tool work? Please click here to watch a short video showing you how to use the tool, or see our ‘how-to’ videos below!

Some videos from us – we hope they help!

Introduction to MK Community Data – Why we need your help and the impact this tool can have on the local VCSE
This shows you an example of uploading your intelligence onto MK Community Data

Below are some additional videos that guide you through the different steps of data submission, if you have any questions or would like any additional information please email us support@communityactionmk.org

A bit more about 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). 

We have been 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.

We have also engaged with and received support from a number of the local VCSE groups, who have been helping us with the initial testing of our prototype tool and providing lots of useful feedback to help us refine it and make it as effective and user friendly as possible. Thank you for your support!

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.

We have really embraced the open learning/working principles as part of this project and will be posting updates about the development of the project on this page as well as through the Medium platform here: communityactionmk.medium.com – visit the site to read our weekly notes/ blogs on the journey of developing the tool!

You can see more information, including all our ‘design assets’ on the Catalyst ‘Open Working‘ site: thecatalyst.org.uk/research/open-working.

Further support

We run weekly online support sessions on a range of support topics – if you would like us to take you through the tool or answer any of your questions, do register at: bit.ly/CAMKSupportSessions

Developed with support from: