At Savvi, we are delighted to announce that we have successfully won funding for phase 2 of the SAVVI (Scalable Approach to Vulnerability via Interoperability) project. This is a perfect time to reflect on phase 1 and to share what we plan for phase 2.
Reflections on Phase 1
The project’s vision is that the SAVVI standards result in reduced hardship for vulnerable people and households. We set out to propose national data standards that improve a locality’s ability to make use of data to support vulnerable people and households. When we set these objectives for ourselves, we determined that we will have succeeded when the SAVVI standards have been adopted by:
- Local Authorities as they coordinate a response to vulnerability
- Local and national agencies to make their data available for re-use in this form
- Private sector suppliers of data services and solutions
In phase 1, we focused on Covid19 (access to services during lockdown 1) and Homelessness Prevention. The focus here came about originally from the iStandUK executive board back in late 2019 and early 2020, when discussing the opportunity for data standards.
The ‘S’ in SAVVI is important to us. It’s scalable because we want to make it applicable to other types of vulnerability. We want to show that our processes and standards are just as relevant to other scenarios. In phase 2, we will be testing that the approach works for all manner of vulnerabilities, and not just against Covid19 and Homelessness.
We pitched our idea to MHCLG, and they funded us to the tune of £55K (our portion of a larger grant that we won jointly with Huntingdonshire District Council and GMCA) with which we delivered a number of workshops, resulting in the Savvi Playbook. The playbook consists of three main elements:
- The SAVVI process: the steps to find and support vulnerable people.
- The SAVVI standards: the standards to pass data between organisations at each step in the process, and the fields for each ‘entity’.
- The SAVVI catalogue: the data ‘attributes’ that councils have used, or would like to use, to find vulnerable people. The catalogue also contains the mapping out the IG enablers to allow the data to be used for a specified purpose.
One of the key conditions of the funding from MHCLG is that we work in the open. We fully embraced this way of working and it has reaped dividends in terms of buy-in and collaborative working. We have taken the time to blog, create videos, share our presentations, and outputs from our workshops. You can find all of this at the iStandUK website.
We have achieved a lot, but it’s worth reflecting on what we didn’t manage to do in the first phase. Firstly, we have not validated the standards and improved journeys with local authorities & industry. We have had high level feedback from local authorities, Government partners and the Tech industry to what we’ve done so far, but this is not validation of our work. Secondly, we did not unlock the more data for Huntingdonshire as we had hoped, and thirdly we did not do the APIs definitions for place-centred working. This key reflection was really useful to us in determining what we want to do next with SAVVI.
The Test and Prove Phase
In our next phase, we want to work with at least two councils to ‘test and prove’, and improve, the processes and standards in the playbook. Huntingdonshire District Council is our main focus for that, but we also have commitment and enthusiasm from North Yorkshire County Council. They’re each at different starting points, so it’s a good test of scalability.
Both councils would also like to link-up SAVVI data, to their directories of community services, using the ‘Open Referral Uk’ standards; so that we start to see an ecosystem which matches NEED to the availability of local SUPPORT services. We would also like to demonstrate that the SAVVI process and standards generate data that can be analysed to demonstrate an impact on hardship. We are arranging to work with Manchester University on that.
As well as the two councils, we have got many departments, agencies, and other councils, who have seen our videos and blogs, and who want to engage with us, to share their thinking, and make joins. That includes the Digital Economy team in the Cabinet Office who are offering to help us to use the Digital Economy Act to unlock more data for sharing. Our ultimate ambitions for SAVVI, beyond the phase 2 funding, is to form a community so that councils can engage with it, and make their own contributions to the catalogue, within the framework.
Testing and proving with Huntingdonshire DC
We’ve been working with Huntingdonshire during Phase 1, and we have built our proposition for Phase 2 around practical work that satisfies their ‘asks’. This means that we will be using the SAVVI Logical Model to define the actual schemas and message formats that HDC requires. They will be working with a software supplier, so that will give a great challenge to our standards. We will be taking their specific data sharing requirements, and driving out the Information Governance position on each to give an opinion about the secondary use of existing data.
Information Governance for using data like this is hard. Huntingdonshire are going to start by asking their customers directly for their circumstances and onward consent, but our IG involvement is about unlocking the use of existing data. The more of this that we can do, the quicker we will find people who need assistance. Where we cannot establish a legal basis to access a required data attribute, we will feed that into our work with the Cabinet Office Digital Economy team.
Our ‘ask’ from Huntingdonshire is to match up their ‘service design’ to the SAVVI process, and take us on their journey. We will be embedded in their programme-level sessions and stand-ups, and pick up their outputs for the case study.
Testing and proving with North Yorkshire County Council
NYCC have taken part in our Phase 1 workshops and they are keen to work with us in Phase 2, as they say that the Covid-19 experience has moved ‘tackling vulnerability’, to the top of their agenda, as a corporate, and place, priority. NYCC’s thinking around vulnerability is not as advanced as Huntingdonshire, however, they have ideas about the topic areas that they are ready to work on, such as ‘school readiness’. Up to now, NYCC have not been able to find a framework or knowledge sharing community for vulnerability, so they have embraced the SAVVI concept, process and standards.
North Yorkshire sees Information Governance as key – particularly to access existing data sources about vulnerable people. NYCC has a mature, and standards-based community-directory, but they have no means to proactively find people in Need, to refer through it. We are excited that North Yorks has great data relationships with their seven districts, other partners such as Fire & rescue, their Clinical Commissioning Groups, and a network of GPs. They also chair the ‘Local Health and Care Record Local Government Group’, so that adds to the awareness of social-care data and standards which is not handled at a district level. North Yorkshire uses a set of technology tools to create in-house solutions, so there is an opportunity to set up some of the data schemas and interchange formats.
Wider engagement in phase 2
Many people have seen us speak at conferences, or seen our blogs, and videos, or taken part in our workshops, and have contacted us, wanting to engage and push this topic on. We are therefore keen to follow up with them to understand how SAVVI might be useful for the work they are doing. Here is a quick overview of some of the people we’ve been engaging with:
- University of Manchester: we are keen to understand how SAVVI might work in a lab environment.
- Department for Education: DfE want to share their work on vulnerable-children.
- NHSx: NHSx have contacted us to link into the Health and Care records standards
- Cabinet Office Data Standards Authority: the DSA have gone through all of our proposed standards and we had an hour workshop with them; they want to help us to feed the SAVVI work into their programme.
- Adur & Worthing Council: the ‘open referral uk’ standards is the recommendation for place-based service-directories from the ‘open community’ project, which is led by Adur and Worthing, and Buckinghamshire. We are taking part in their Beta project which is about driving up adoption of the standard. Both our case-study councils what to explore matching Needs, to Service-provision.
- Digital Economy team, Cabinet Office: the Digital Economy Team are offering to help us with data sharing
- … and we have other councils that are telling us about their vulnerability projects, and wanting to know more.
We see this as 20 weeks of activity starting from mid-March. By the end of phase 2 delivery, we hope to achieve the following deliverables:
- The two Case Studies (HDC and NYCC)
- Improvements to the Process and Standards
- Catalogue of the actual data shares, and technology deployments from the Case Study, and others that come to us
- Capturing the Digital Economy Act experience to unlock more data
- More content on the website and other comms, plus we’d like to propose how we can invite more engagement and feedback from our audience.
We plan to continue to work in the open (this is our first blog in phase2!). Do keep an eye out for upcoming videos, blogs, and workshops. Our SAVVI website will continue to be updated and we will be keeping you abreast of our progress via social media.