Following the recent launch of Involve, Carnegie UK Trust and Understanding Patient Data’s Data Sharing for Public Benefit report, we are pleased to announce the next phase of this work. If you are leading in the field of data sharing and interested exploring public perspectives on when data sharing in public organisations is acceptable and when not– this opportunity is for you!

Thanks to support from Carnegie Trust UK, Phase 2 of this work will be launched through a workshop on 26 September 2018. The workshop is designed to bring local authorities and national bodies working with public data together to develop a shared methodology for exploring the question of public benefit in their local communities. This will be followed by ongoing work to support these organisations to review the suitability of data sharing in different live scenarios.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, or engaging local communities in these questions please do let us know.

What’s been done so far?

Phase 1 of this work brought stakeholders working in local authorities together to consider how they understood, defined and valued the public benefit generated from the sharing of personal data in public services.

The key findings from this report emphasised a need for government organisations to test for purposeful, proportionate and responsible use of data should they want to increase data sharing in their organisations.

The report lists five criteria that government organisations should test new data sharing initiatives against – these are:

  1. That it enables high quality service delivery which produces better outcomes for people, enhancing their wellbeing.
  2. That it delivers positive outcomes for the wider public, not just individuals.
  3. That it uses data in ways that respect the individual, not just in the method of sharing but also in principle.
  4. That it represents, and supports, the effective use of public resources (money, time, staff) to enable the delivery of what people need/want from public services.
  5. That the benefits are tangible, recognised and valued by service providers and the wider public.

What are we planning?

So now we want to support local service providers to put this into practice. The workshop in September will be a day long co-production event to allow participants to discuss the criteria and findings from Phase 1 and develop a programme to pilot test the framework directly with the public.

The morning will focus on the report findings and their implications for local and national policy agendas. The afternoon will be for participants interested in developing an agreed methodology for long-term engagement with the public in a sustainable, cost effective way on data sharing.

These participants will be asked if they, in-principle, would like to commit to testing the agreed methodology with members of the public using live data sharing proposals they are considering.

Following the workshop, participating local authorities will then be invited to formally collaborate. While we are seeking additional funding from other sources, participating authorities for this phase will be asked to contribute to the cost of testing the methodology.

Why take up the opportunity?

The Cabinet Office’s 2017 Government Transformation Strategy stated:

Data is a critical resource for enabling more efficient, effective government and public services that respond to citizens’ needs. Data acts as the foundation upon which everything else rests.*

How the public views this data use and sharing by government organisations is pivotal to the strength of these foundations. Building in public engagement and transparency from the start of a data sharing proposal allows for much longer-term support and understanding from the public.

There is no long-term commitment required from those attending the workshop in September – it is simply a starting point for discussing and exploring with other stakeholders the best next steps to effective public engagement on data sharing.

How to get involved & to find out more

For more information contact either or

Picture Credit: ibmphoto24