SAVVI stands for Scalable Approach to Vulnerability via Interoperability, a project funded by DLUHC Local Digital Fund that is delivered by iStandUK and iNetwork, two local public sector programmes hosted by Tameside Council. The ultimate vision for the project is that SAVVI standards result in reduced hardship for vulnerable people and households through early identification and interventions. This would enable SAVVI to propose national data standards that improve a locality’s ability to make use of data to support vulnerable people and households.
Engaging with a wide audience is an important piece of work that sits alongside the development of the SAVVI standards and playbook, taking up approximately a third of the team’s efforts. The wider engagement into the SAVVI project is key for the SAVVI team to understand the bigger national picture, how SAVVI sits within it, and how it can contribute to the national solution. SAVVI has regularly collaborated with a wide range of partners at national, regional, local government level, academia, as well as with tech suppliers and other standards bodies. This blog highlights some of the key conversations and collaborations that SAVVI is having with partners. Please note this is not an exhaustive list of the partners we are working with.
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
SAVVI brings forward data standards, data sharing and information governance within the framework of a model process that can be applied to find, assess and support people and households over a wide range of vulnerabilities and would like to work with those who are also looking to work for the national context for vulnerability. Viv Adams, Principal Policy Adviser on the ICO’s Parliament and Government Affairs Team at the Information Commissioner’s Office shared how they are supportive of SAVVI aims and how SAVVI overlaps with some of their work. Viv explained how she put together the data sharing code and how protection of vulnerable citizens is one of their regulatory priorities particularly in relation to encouraging the responsible use of vulnerable citizen’s data and being alert to the use of technology that might disproportionately impact these groups. In drafting the data sharing code they were very conscious of the role of data sharing in relation to work and vulnerability in both identifying and in supporting those with particular needs.
The need for fair, transparent and secure data sharing has been brought into even sharper focus following the COVID-19 pandemic. Proportionate and targeted data sharing in the public, private and voluntary sectors is crucial to supporting and protecting the most vulnerable. The ICO encourages wider efforts, such as the work of the SAVVI project, to address the technical, organisational and cultural challenges that organisations may face when sharing data, especially where this can improve insights and help achieve better outcomes for the most vulnerable people.
On a local and national level data sharing has been pivotal to fast efficient and effective delivery and one example is the pandemic response where the ICO was clear in their message that organisations should not hesitate to share data to prevent harm, save lives and to safeguard the vulnerable. Ideally organisations should look to plan ahead and this is what SAVVI is proposing.
Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO): Digital Economy Act Team
Patrick Kiernan works for the Central Digital and Data Office and his team leads on the Digital Economy Act, a key part of the act that provides legal gateways for public authorities that are specified bodies to share data for specific purposes. One of these purposes is currently in the legislation and is an objective that enables people to be identified and services provided if they face two or more disadvantages in life. This has achieved some success through the troubled families programme, however feedback from local authorities and discussions with SAVVI has meant that waiting for people to have two disadvantages in life is too late and they are now looking to intervene sooner. The objective has now changed for Patrick and his team, the focus has shifted to early help and prevention and working with SAVVI to build a proactive approach that can be standardised to try and understand what policies could link two or more datasets, so that datasets can talk to each other in a more efficient way.
Ministry of Justice (MoJ): BOLD Programme
Toby Hayward-Butcher, Head of Data Strategy at the Ministry of Justice, introduced a new cross government linking programme, Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD). This national programme has been funded for the next 3 years to encourage cross departmental working, to improve the connectedness of government data held primarily by social policy departments so that policy-makers and those working on the frontline of UK public services have better quality evidence on vulnerable people. The BOLD programme aims to achieve this through four demonstrator pilots that will demonstrate the value of having linked data that can enhance the evidence base.
- Supporting victims of crime, led by the MoJ is all about better understanding how victims of crime experience the criminal justice system and the range of services they interact with and how they disengage from the system.
- Reducing homelessness and rough sleeping, led by DHLUC is about understanding what drivers lead to people being homeless and the combination of services that can prevent this.
- Combatting the misuse of drugs, led by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities with Public Health Wales, looks to understand addiction and the combination of services that break the cycle of addiction.
- Reducing reoffending, led by MoJ which is all about looking at using linked data to build a single digital view of an offender in the community so that practitioners can offer a range of services to make better decisions for those in their care.
Toby shared that they were excited to work with SAVVI and that SAVVI could be of huge value and provide learning for the BOLD programme through the SAVVI model, the SAVVI Information Governance Framework and the SAVVI Data Model Process. The BOLD programme will be looking to share data across departments on those vulnerable in society and SAVVI can assist in understanding and developing their own robust information governance approach and how this can be applied in a central government context.
I’m really excited about the potential of working with SAVVI. In particular, we can apply the principles of the SAVVI data model process, particularly to our Reducing Reoffending Pilot – which is the one that is looking at operationalizing our data sharing most clearly. It’s a great example where SAVVI doesn’t exist in isolation and is part of this broader ecosystem and a broader drive of connected data across public services and so it feels like a really exciting time.
Digital and Tech Industry
From a SAVVI perspective, we are keen to understand how the SAVVI data standards and model that we have come up with over recent months could be usefully adopted by the tech industry. The project has been deep-diving with tech suppliers and we have had a number of one-to-one sessions, lasting 90 minutes, with the following suppliers: ForgeRock; Xantura; Policy in Practice; Gemserv and Liquid Logic. All suppliers products and/or services involve the handling of vulnerability data.
We have also created and held meetings for the SAVVI Tech Working Group. The inaugural meeting was chaired by Georgina Maratheftis techUK and participants were invited to delve deeper into data standards and helped SAVVI to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our data models from a supplier perspective.
SAVVI is to be commended as a great example of meaningful engagement with industry. The SAVVI team has been ready to engage and listen to industry to ensure standards are fit for purpose and ultimately adopted by the sector too. We have 25 active members participating in the regular SAVVI Tech Working Group and they have been inspired with ideas for embedding SAVVI standards in commercial products.
Support from Other Partners
SAVVI has discussed it’s vision prototypes with other partners such as; University of Manchester, Scottish Government & Improvement Service (IS), Department for Education (DfE) and we have had input in particular from the health sector, NHS and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Take a look at what they had to say below:
“I support the development of the SAVVI standards as a means to find and support vulnerable people. Interoperability and Trust are going to be key as we look to share data across agencies, and bring the citizen into the data conversation.” Nicholas Oughtibridge, Lead Architect, NHS England.
“DWP remains interested in seeing how the SAVVI project progresses. We understand the importance of driving cross-government standards in data sharing. Where possible, we will therefore look to align our own, separate, projects that are seeking to share more data with LAs, to help LAs in the identification of vulnerable citizens for potential welfare provision, with SAVVI.” David Wright, Department for Work and Pensions