This series of seminars responds to the urgent challenges posed by the uses of information in governing and delivering public services. Information sharing is a central concern across policy domains including the integration of health and social care, models of smart cities, tackling gangs and youth violence, and the 'troubled families' agenda. Disasters and tragedies have been repeatedly attributed - at least in part - to the failure of agencies to share information. Attempts have been made to fix the problem through a variety of legislative, policy and IT approaches. Yet individuals and organisations still struggle to share information well.
Austerity measures are having significant effects as public services everywhere try to do more with less by harnessing information to avoid duplication and repetition. Our current knowledge suggests that the exchange and management of data between organisations and practitioners involved in the delivery of public service has often proved extremely hard to achieve, in particular where sharing involves multiple professions and organisations with different values, standards and traditions. This has been exacerbated as governments have increasingly encouraged a more diverse service supplier base including businesses, charities, social enterprises and community and voluntary organisations. Moreover, data in itself is not enough. To be of use, data must be interpreted by someone or something with a relationship to it thereby making it information. This is not just a technical matter of tools (important as they are) but, also a matter of building the communities who can select and use these tools for specific purposes.
• Seminar 1: Information Sharing and the Integration of Health and Social Care (Newcastle University Business School, 25 November 2014)
• Seminar 2: Multi-agency, Multi-user, Multi-locale Working: Sharing Information for and about Families (University of Bradford, 5 March 2015)
• Seminar 3: Information Sharing for Smart Places: What Kinds of Information Sharing for What Kinds of Places? (University of East Anglia, 2 July 2015)
• ESRC International Panel Debate on Information Sharing for Public Services. What can the UK learn from the United States and New Zealand? (House of Commons, 9 March 2016)
• ESRC/KITE International Seminar on Information Sharing - Up, Open and Personal about Data? Learning from USA and New Zealand (Newcastle University Business School, 10 March 2016)