In 2016, the Local Government Association (LGA) is running a project to find a better way to identify and match local services to the needs of citizens and the places they serve.  The approach relies on a consistent data format in which local services are described so that directories of services can be combined for a place, a need, an audience and so on. LGA programme manager, Tim Adams, has set out a detailed overview of the programme in his recent blog on the Knowledge Hub.

The LGA has commissioned us at iStandUK to propose a data format to describe local services, built upon existing standards and good practice from local councils, and other local service providers.

Councils manage and publish directories of local services for a ‘place’, for many reasons, such as

  • Personalisation / Social Care
  • Local Offer / Family Services
  • Community Directory
  • Council Services from
    • County
    • District
    • Town
    • Parish
    • Etc
  • Supporting 3rd party apps, and mediators, to provide choice in how services are discovered and used


… but these are often only available as web pages, or, where they are published as data, in incompatible formats that cannot be easily discovered or combined to support wider re-use in many and different ways.

So, we are keen to know your thoughts and any examples of similar experiences that you have had when publicising and promoting local services.  In particular,

  • have you made progress towards a combined directory of services?
  • do you manage a directory of services?
  • do you provide directory software?
  • do you have some thoughts on what standards we should recommend?


We’d love to learn from you.  I have created a simple questionnaire where you can describe your approach, and/or tell us about standards.  Alternatively, it would be helpful if you could set out your thoughts in the special project forum thread that has been opened on the “Local Open Data Community” knowledge group on the Knowledge Hub.  This forum is open to anyone who cares to register themselves to this group.

If you would prefer to chat, please contact


Project news


Service Directories update

The Local Government Association have asked iStandUK to propose a data standard in which local services can be described.  We’ve worked with a number of councils, and suppliers of directory software, to come up with a consistent format so that information from many...