Communities in the Public Sector

Picking up on the issues surrounding the various ‘knowledge sharing’ initiatives across the public sector – as recently aired by the article in Public Sector Forums. Far from there being any power struggle amongst the various protagonists (IDeA, esd-toolkit, DCLG/Leeds City Council, Gov eXchange), I would judge the recently launched Communities web site developed by the IDeA as the clear winner. From initial specification to live launch took 5 months, and cost significantly less than the (alleged) investment of over £1million pounds for the TALK>> initiative sponsored by the ODPM (now the DCLG). Strangely this appears to have disappeared from view at the previously known location and has been ‘TALKED >>’ about for over 12 months with nothing yet delivered!

The IDeA communties initiative is functionally rich with various social networking tools (Messaging, Blogs, Wikis, People Finder) as well as providing a Knowledge Repostiry in the form of a document library for members of the community. Take-up is relatively slow at present, though this is more a case of  people not knowing it’s there than a reluctance to use it. Remember…you heard it here first! 

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