Monthly Archives: November 2012

All Wales public services internet and social media survey 2012

I imagine that most of you have never heard of the Public Engagement Working Group, and that’s ok – that’s one of the reasons we started this blog, as there’s a lot of work that Participation Cymru are involved in that you might not get to hear about as it didn’t previously fit into the information processes that we had.

Essentially the group, which involves Welsh Government, Participation Cymru, NLIAH, Welsh NHS Confederation, WLGA, Wales Audit Office and Cardiff Business School, was put together to make sure that we’re approaching public engagement in the same way and that we weren’t duplicating each other’s work and that we collaborate where possible.

It was with all that in mind that the All Wales public services internet and social media survey 2012 was launched last September, so that we could get a good picture of what Welsh public service organisations are doing, to find out what we can do better, and to look at how we could spread the word about exciting work that is being done.

The results are in! And you can download them here.

We’re now putting the report together, which will hopefully be available by the end of the year. I have been tasked with putting together the sections on how organisations use Welsh language social media and how social media use is evaluated.

Whilst the report isn’t available as yet, there’s lots of good practice out there waiting to be tapped into! Rhodri ap Dyfrig sent me some very helpful resources around Welsh language social media. He also did a great presentation on this at a Welsh Government event that I attended in June. You can read the English presentation here, or watch the video above. There’s lots more information from the event available here. The Hacio’r Iaith project is also well worth a look at.

Esther Barrett of RSC has been a great help in helping me to look at confidence of Welsh Speaker’s. Her fantastic thesis ‘Somewhere along the line’ is well worth a read to better understand how important it is that services are provided in Welsh.

We’ve been quite timely in terms of evaluation – the UK Government Digital Service team has just written a really interesting blog on this. I’ve also found Helen Reynolds’ blogs on how we evaluate social media an inspiration – you can read more here and here.

We look forward to sharing the final report with you!

– Dyfrig

Building online engagement with WordPress

Yesterday I attended a really useful event that was hosted by WordPress Users Wales and Software Alliance Wales on Building Online Engagement With WordPress. Check out the feedback!

As a project, we’re relatively new to blogging, so it was great to get some ideas confirmed (“use an informal voice”) and to learn more about how we can get the most out of blogging (“put your blog articles in your newsletter, wring as much usage out of it as possible”).

The speakers Phillipa Davies, Joel Hughes and Helen Reynolds all offered insightful tips about how to utilise blogging effectively and the WordPress platform in particular.

I’ve used Storify to capture the tweets from the event so you can get a flavour of what happened during the event.

The presentations are all now available on the WordPress Users Wales blog. Joel has also posted a follow up post on his blog.

– Dyfrig

UPDATE – Helen Reynolds has since also wrote a great post about the event, which you can also find here.

Participation Cymru Evaluation Toolkit

Evaluation of participation is vital to ensure that we learn lessons from how we engage the public and how we can do it better in the future. It’s something we often get asked about, as people want to know how they can show the value of public engagement.

Too often evaluation can be something that is tagged on to the end of participatory work. This toolkit can help you to ensure that you evaluate your work effectively and that you involve service users from the very beginning of any participatory work that you undertake.

This toolkit describes a four stage participatory process to evaluate engagement activities in relation to the National Principles for Public Engagement in Wales. The toolkit is intended to be used flexibly and users of the toolkit should feel free to adapt it to their own circumstances.

We’d like to thank Alain Thomas Consultancy Ltd, who have helped us to develop this toolkit, and also all the practitioners who have helped us to test the toolkit through various workshops, in particular the Forestry Commission Wales who piloted the evaluation workshop

We hope that you find it useful, please let us know what you think!

– Dyfrig

I Matter, We Matter

Last week we ran our first of the Citizen Panel for Social Services in South East Wales. There are two more panel meetings to run this month, one in the South West and another in North Wales, and we’ll be sharing more information about their role and what they’re doing as soon as these panels have met.

One of the exercises we ran at the panel was on the I Matter, We Matter campaign, which asks what things are important to you in your life and what helps you to do these things.

The campaign begun after the consultation document for the Social Services (Wales) Bill proposed ‘a statement of national outcomes for social services and social care services’. These outcomes will set out what support services should help people achieve in their lives.

It’s amazing how such seemingly easy questions can be amazingly difficult to answer! But when we asked ourselves these questions as a team prior to the panel, the answers we gave were very illuminating and powerful.

My answer was around how important the transport system is in Wales, which isn’t the most exciting answer in the world, but actually it’s quite important to my wellbeing as it allows me to see my family, who are all living in Mid, West and North Wales. I can honestly say I was moved by other people’s answers as they outlined what helps them to do the things that are important to them.

The campaign is looking for organisations to spread the word about it, and also for organisations to pledge their support, which you can do here. The campaign will also form the basis of WCVA’s Annual Conference, which takes place on 29 November in Cardiff. WCVA will take the answers to these questions and make them the foundation for their work with the Welsh Government in defining the outcomes for social services.

If your organisation or people you work with take part, please let us know how it goes!

– Dyfrig

Good Practice Wales

Participation Cymru has been a partner with Good Practice Wales since 2011. It can often be difficult to find examples of good practice, so it’s good to be involved in a project that brings together innovative ways of working from so many sectors and organisations in Wales.

What’s great about the meetings that we attend is that we not only talk about how we can best improve the sharing of good practice, but we also have the opportunity to share what’s working within our own organisations and to hear from others about what has and what hasn’t worked in theirs.

One of the topics we spoke about during the meeting was how we’re using the project’s @GPWales Twitter account, and it was really great to hear how everyone at the was thinking about whether the tools that we use are appropriate for our audience, rather than expecting our audience to use the tools that we use.

We also spoke about how powerful email still is, which is interesting as it can be easy to forget that email is still a vitally important way of publicising good practice when we’re all engaging with new social media too.

As Dave Coplin of Microsoft says in this BBC article, “Everything has its place and it’s really understanding which is the right tool for the job.”

– Dyfrig