Discovery into improving digital collaboration between Local Authorities DISCOVERY

Project details:

Organisation MHCLG
Department Digital Directorate
Collaboration Level Share Ideas
Budget £50K > £100k
Key Contact Ben Cheetham
Phase start 18 March 2019
Phase Estimated end 28 June 2019



Why the work is being done

The Local Digital Declaration (signed by 150 local authorities as well as MHCLG and GDS) has 5 principles one of which covers working in the open and sharing plans & experiences. From MHCLG’s research into collaboration, and the initial usage of the LocalGov Digital Pipeline service, we believe that providing a way for local authorities to collaborate and be aware of each other’s work (possibly using a central digital service, such as Pipeline) is likely to be a key part of enabling that principle to be realised.

Problem to be solved

The structure of local and central government lends itself to public organisations working in silos to devise solutions to meet their own needs. This leads to huge inefficiencies through duplication of spending, lack of collaboration and sharing of knowledge.

Who the users are and what they need to do

As a local authority employee, I want to find others that have done similar work to me or are planning similar work, so that I can share learning (and potentially code) and make sure my project is successful

As a MHCLG Collaboration Manager or SME supplier, I need to know where there are common needs or opportunities in the sector, so I that I can help support innovation and transformation to help local authorities make better local services for citizens

Early market engagement

We have been raising awareness with users across the sector via the Hackney blog, MHCLG blog and the LocalGov Digital Slack community inviting feedback.

We posted a brief for an alpha earlier this year, which we withdrew after reconsidering our requirements (we felt we needed to do additional discovery work)

Any work that’s already been done

Significant work has been done on LocalGov Digital's Pipeline service, which seeks to address the problem we're hoping to solve. Hackney have done user research on this service, which we are building on with this work.

MHCLG has also done further user research with Local Authorities at our Local Digital Roadshows and with teams who were successful in applying for the Local Digital Fund. We are due to do further research before this team begins.

Existing team

As this is a cross-sector product, a stakeholder group is being established to work closely with a Product Manager based at MHCLG to prioritise the backlog of features. The supplier is expected to provide the delivery team to work with this product manager and serve the stakeholder group. 

Within the Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU) some capacity exists covering content design, service design and user research. However, we expect the supplier not to depend on this support. Rather, we hope our teams can work closely together to help build team capacity.

Additional info

This project is also listed on the UK Government Digital Marketplace:




Status Updates