ADD2285 Civil Society Data Project

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2285
Date signed: 
16 October 2018
Decision by: 
Kathleen Kelly, Interim Assistant Director for Communities and Social Policy

Executive summary

The GLA Community Engagement team is working with civil society organisations to improve data maturity, skills and capacity. We are seeking a delivery partner(s) to work in partnership with the GLA to deliver a new pilot data and training programme with London’s refugee and migrant civil society.

This ADD seeks approval of expenditure up to £25,000 on the commissioning of a partner(s) to deliver the project.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Communities and Social Policy approves:

Expenditure of up to £25,000 from the Community Engagement Team budget 2018-19 on the commissioning of a partner(s) to deliver the Civil Society Data Project.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Greater London Authority Community Engagement team is working with civil society organisations to improve data maturity, skills and capacity. We are seeking a delivery partner(s) to work in partnership with the GLA to deliver a new pilot data programme with London’s refugee and migrant civil society.

The Mayor recognizes the importance of Civil Society in supporting communities, delivering services and making London the thriving vibrant place that it is. He is committed to working with communities, civil society and others to build a city for all Londoners. London’s civil society has a wealth of assets, experience and networks that mean they are important partners for City Hall. Stronger collaboration and partnership working between the GLA and civil society will enable us to improve outcomes for Londoners.

The Way Ahead vision clearly outlines the important role that civil society can play in co-producing data about London and Londoners. This includes the role of data in supporting organisations to measure impact and support delivery, but also in advocacy and improved policy making. To realise civil society’s data potential there is a need for improved data literacy and infrastructure. In our Civil Society Action Plan, we committed to co-producing a programme of work on civil society data.

To unlock the potential of data collected by civil society organisations we are seeking to pilot an approach to improving data skills and usage within civil society. A coproduction workshop with the Migrant and Refugee Access Panel identified the need to establish clear ethical principles around data collection and offer a programme of support for improving data capacity and systems. This reiterates the findings of the Centre for Open Data Enterprise’s research that building trusting and collaborative relationships with communities is a cornerstone of successful data projects.

The data pilot will work with the refugee and migrant sector to build on streams of work and strong links between the Communities and Social Policy unit at the GLA and the refugee and migrant sector. We aim for this pilot programme to capture learning, which can then be assessed, adapted where necessary and applied to different civil society sectors in future years.

Objectives and expected outcomes

We are seeking a delivery partner(s) that will work with the GLA and London’s refugee and migrant sector to co-develop and pilot a specification for an effective and embedded data training/support programme. This should:

• Identify ethical principles for data collection and use, including:

o potential risks and harms to individuals, communities and civil society
o standards for transparency and accountability
o responsibility for data protection
o responsible use of data-informed insights
o concepts such as wellbeing and the need for individuals and communities to thrive

• Support organisations to identify their data needs
• Embed learning within the organisation
• Use open source software and tools
• Increase organisational data maturity
• Offer mentoring and support to participant organisations
• The programme should be relevant to and consider the needs of small migrant and refugee organisations
• Support sustainable networking and sharing of learning between participating organisations

Equality comments

This project will uphold the GLA’s commitment to Equality and Diversity, and will have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The civil society data project has been developed out of the Mayor’s commitment to working with communities, civil society and others to build a city for all Londoners. City Hall’s dedicated Civil Society officers are working to ensure stronger collaboration and partnership working between the GLA and Civil Society. By developing a partnership in the delivery of the data project, the GLA is hoping to extend its reach to a broader group of organisations.

The refugee and migrant sector are involved in this pilot programme as data and understanding of this community in London is currently poor and working towards improving this will support the GLA responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 ‘to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have relevant protected characteristics’ and to ‘eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation’.

The tender document has been consulted on by a specialist Advisory Group set up to advise on the Civil Society Data Project and throughout this process due regard has been paid to the GLAs responsibility under the Equality Act 2010, as outlined above. This practice will also be adopted throughout the review of applications and awarding of the contract.

The tender document asks explicitly for applicants to explain what professional ethical standards or principles will be applied to the conduct of the work, identify any ethical issues raised, explain how these ethical issues will be dealt with in the reporting of the work and explain the process for ethical review.

Other considerations

Risks:

• Being unable to deliver project in timescale. The timescales for this project are relatively tight, but we will mitigate this risk by ensuring that the internal procurement process is delivered in an efficient and timely manner, meetings and support for the successful organisation(s) are planned for and effective and that any slippage is reported and accounted for throughout the delivery phase.
• Unsuccessful in commissioning a partner for the delivery of one or both strands of the work. In order to mitigate this risk, we will work with our Advisory group, internal teams and external stakeholders to ensure the opportunity is shared widely amongst our networks. We will also ensure that our Civil Society Officers are available to field questions and queries potential applicants may have.

Mayoral Strategies and Priorities:

• The Mayor recognizes the importance of Civil Society in supporting communities, delivering services and making London the thriving vibrant place that it is. He is committed to working with communities, civil society and others to build a city for all Londoners. This programme is a key part of the Civil Society Action Plan in which we are committed to co-producing a programme of work on civil society data.
• This work complements the following Mayoral strategies and priorities:

 Social Integration – By improving London’s evidence base and coproducing data about refugee and migrant communities.
 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy – By supporting refugee and migrant sector organisations to improve advocacy on issues facing their clients.
 Smart London – By supporting civil society to increase their data capacity and engagement on data ethics and principles.

Financial comments

The expenditure of up to £25,000 will be funded from the 2018-19 Community Engagement Programme budget held within the Communities and Social Policy Unit.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

1 October – 9 November 2018

Announcement [if applicable]

23 November 2018

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

2 January 2019

Development of training specification and piloting of approaches

November 2018 – January 2019

Data training and support

February – July 2019

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

July 2019

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

August 2019