Not for Profit PSI Contest Announcement
It was very pleasing to see the number of proposals that were submitted for our not-for-profit contest. It shows that there is not only strong demand for public sector information in this important sector of the Australian economy, but also great potential for them to contribute to public policy development and Government service delivery if we can just make it easier for them to access relevant PSI.
There were some really good ideas put forward that showed creativity and had a clear sense of purpose. Some of the better ideas that caught the eye of the Taskforce were:
- Yearn to learn (from psinclair) – An online register of skills shortages and how to obtain skills in high demand;
- Surf Life Saving NSW – Rescue Package (from kstorey) – Data to improve the recruiting and deployment of lifesavers;
- Status of Women (from diann) /Index of Women’s Health and Well-being (from rose.durey) – two similar proposals for a website providing a comprehensive of index of women’s health issues and data
- Data on Disabled Drivers and Permits (from wpeacock658) – Aggregated data on disabled drivers, vehicle modifications and parking/access schemes to assist local planning and national road policies.
Of course not everyone fully grasped the concept we were trying to get across, but that is all part of the process of crowdsourcing innovation. Nonetheless, even those who were wide of the mark put forward some interesting ideas for aggregating data and providing services that policy makers should be paying more attention to. Of particular interest was the number of proposals for directories. Unfortunately this type of project is notoriously difficult to maintain and to achieve ongoing funding for, so these ideas couldn’t be taken any further by the Taskforce.
But the idea that we chose as the winner of this contest was “Indicators of social inclusion in local geographic areas for planning an evaluating community services” from hmcguire, which proposed that data should be published on key social indicators based on local geographic areas so it can be made available to community organisations, policy makers, and government funding bodies.
Social data is an incredible rich and complex resource and the community sector could benefit from access to it in many ways. At the moment this data is spread over many agencies. The idea presented seems to me to be an aggregator of data. This approach has several potential benefits for the community sector – it can reduce the time required to find the data needed, and the duplication of many organisations doing the work of finding the same pieces of data; it can create a place for educating the sector in the use of data (this is very important); and last but not least, access to good data in the community sector will result in better decision making and better placement of limited funding and better outcomes for the disadvantaged. While I know this raises the Cathedral/bazaar argument again, this is not so much about data brokering, but more about capacity building.
Congratulations to hmcguire for putting forward a very topical and useful proposal – the charity/not-for-profit of your choice will receive a cash donation of $5,000 courtesy of the Taskforce, and you will also be contacted by Connecting Up Australia who have been commissioned by the Taskforce to provide consulting services to assist you with progressing your idea.