The Best by West Midlands White Paper is available for download or you can visit their microsite. Commissioned by Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM) and produced by comms2point0 the excellent White Paper is supported by no less than 33 case studies from across local authority services. This paper provides solid evidence of why you can no longer afford to ignore the potential of social media, as a tool for improving services and efficiency. It also does a fantastic job at celebrating what people are doing well.
In his blog post introducing the White Paper and the range of activity already happening in the West Midlands Dan alludes to the fact that people are just getting on with it, they’re no longer waiting for London to give permission or edict to engage in a certain manner. It’s no surprise to me that social media is providing this sort of flattening out effect, that it enables people who are geographically dispersed to come together and make something happen, to share their learning and their experience, to exchange tips for overcoming barriers and for exchanging what works.
The White Paper also includes a section on evaluation and return on investment. I’ve touched on the issue of measurement before, see Beware the Reach Metrics, and consider it to be one of the areas that very much requires more attention. Certainly in social care we seem to have lost our way a little, with considerable focus on broadcast and noise, and less on delivery and impact.
Which to bring me back to the start of this post, celebrating what you want to see more of in life, I want to share with the world a map of Social Care Curry. A brilliant idea from the West Midlands and Matt Bowsher, has grown legs and seriously started running. After a soft launch in Birmingham in July, we now have nine different eat-ups happening on 5 September around the UK, you can book your place here, the only requirement is that you love social care and love curry! The measure of our success will be determined by those people who come along in September, but so far 14 people have volunteered to host and 74 people have booked to come along, so things are looking promising.