The post is really well written. It is personal. It links the UK with Rwanda. It explains part of DFID’s important work in the country. It gives you hope that things are improving.
Please go read it, tell your colleagues to read it and tell your bosses to read it. Then read some more of the DFID bloggers. They are doing a fantastic job of telling the story of DFID’s work in a real and human way.
The idea of providing coaching does seem to be gaining traction amongst local authorities. We’re putting together two proposals for community engagement sites this week and both have asked for coaching.
There is an old maxim (at least 2 years which is very old for social media) which say email is for work and the web for play. It is a maxim that I hope is becoming rapidly outdated as more and people within the public sector come to realise the value of the information to their jobs being provided online.
There are three ways to keep in touch with what the CivicSurf project are doing:
Visit this site regularly – once a fortnight might do you, but you might forget
Running a project has lots of high points: coming up with a brilliant idea; getting the funding in place; starting the actual production; seeing the bits coming together; getting feedback; publishing the evaluation report.
“publishing the evaluation report”. A high point? It’s not exactly an adrenaline rush and if I’m being perfectly honest it isn’t exactly fun. But we, at Gallomanor, do recognise the importance of fairly evaluating the work we do. Of working out where the mistakes were made, figuring what the real strengths of a project are and deciding what we’ll do better next time.
As part of the funding from the Ministry of Justice for CivicSurf we were obliged to write an evaluation report and in the interests of openness they’re going to publish it and are happy for us to publish it here. Click on CivicSurf Evaluation Report to view it [PDF, 60k.]
I can’t claim it is a masterpiece of evaluation, but on the plus side it only runs to five pages.
For those who don’t want to open the pdf the key learning points are below the fold.
Before you go there though, a few things:
The report could be read as being critical of the councillors from Norfolk and in general. This is not intended. We appreciate the workload for which councillors volunteer and we appreciate that amognst all the calls on their time participating in a “project” might not be that high on their list of priorities. So let it be said again. The councillors from Norfolk, Tony, Jenny and Peter, are brilliant. They were generous with their time and feedback and they have persevered with their blogs and, I hope, still finding them useful tools for doing their “jobs” as councillors.
This isn’t the end of project. The site will continue and expand. We want CivicSurf to be a place for councillors, civic leaders and officers to come to for advice and resources on becoming an effective civic leader blogger. We’ll continue to support any organisations that want to arrange a viewing of the documentary. We still have copies of the DVD and booklet. And we’ve produced a blog coaching programme that is proven to help civic leaders become more effective leaders through blogging.
It’s a fairly important part of the DCLG White Paper Consultation process for CivicSurf. The Code of Practice on Local Authority Publicity has been blamed by many as a major obstacle to helping councillors use blogs. This consultation is a chance to make your views clear on the matter.
I’ll be reading this over Christmas and posting some thoughts and responding in the New Year.
Part of what we are trying to with this blog is provide resources for partner organisations to promote the CivicSurf project. These resources are all stored under the CivicSurf promotional resources category.
This pack shot of the main physical elements we send out: DVD, Booklets and the case they come within, has been shot for an advert appearing in January in Government Technology Magazine.