Can GovCamp Cymru help to reshape services?

Re-shaping services with the Public

So as time ticks down and we get closer to GovCamp Cymru, I’ve started thinking about key issues that I think the unconference could help address.

I posted my previous blogpost on GovCamp Cymru to the LocalGov Digital Google Plus group, both to share what is happening in Wales and to get some ideas on issues that have been identified at other unconferences.

Simon’s comment on my post highlights ‘citizen-centric services’ as an issue in Australia, which echoes what we’re experiencing in Wales. This neatly ties in with our current work on reshaping services with the public.

Simon Pickthall asked some big questions in his workshop at the Cardiff event (you can hear from him at 04:14 in the above video). If we need to work differently, what does different thinking look like? If people are coming back more than once then how can we better meet their needs?

These kinds of questions are well placed to be examined at GovCamp Cymru, which will be looking at new thinking and how public services can improve society. The event will also look at how new technology can improve public services, so it’s especially interesting that these questions are being asked about online services in England. Phil Rumens’ latest blog post looks at inaccessible language and how that might be hindering digital transformation.

GovCamp Cymru

Phil’s blog also contains a great video of Lorena Sutherland of the Office of the Public Guardian talking about why simplifying the language we use isn’t about “dumbing down. It’s about opening up”. It’s an interesting online parallel to Barod’s Whispering Service, which helps to demystify what really is going on at conferences (Chris Bolton has looked at why this is a good thing on his blog).

Although the majority of people who’ve registered for the event are people who provide services, people who access services will be there too. It’s great that we’ll have a mix of people there, because we’re going to need a range of perspectives at the event if we’re going to try to get to grips with these issues.

Alan Armstrong of Barod talked about the importance of meeting on shared turf in his presentation at the reshaping services seminar i.e. that we need to meet people on equal terms. As GovCamp Cymru is based on open space, we’re meeting on a weekend and outside the workplace, I hope that we can go someway to making that happen.


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