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Providing an information resource to help commissioners of childrens’services address local priorities


Poole Partnership is the Local Strategic Partnership for Poole. It involves community, voluntary and faith groups, working together with businesses and the public sector. It aims to achieve long-term improvements to the quality of life for people living in Poole.

We spoke to Sara Ireland, Senior Research Officer, about the project. “It originated from work with a children and young people’s dataset that we had been working on for a number of years. We realised we were sitting on a large amount of information and were only able to do a limited amount with it – so we wanted to find a way of getting it into the public domain in a friendly format,” she says.

Getting started

Sara started the process of finding a suitable presentation tool and came across InstantAtlas. The data was then loaded and this included information relating to the Every Child Matters outcomes and comprises 40 indicators that are collected on an annual basis.

The data is presented as The Children Service's Information Tool (CSIT). CSIT outlines information about the well-being of children and young people, in terms of their health, safety, achievement, behaviour and economic wellbeing, and shows where these combine to increase the likelihood of poor outcomes.

The CSIT map has data for Poole on each of the Children and Young People Needs Analysis indicators, along with data from the Indices of Deprivation 2007, Child Well-Being 2009 and Child Benefit data at Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA), Children’s Centre Area and Locality Area.

Children Service's Information Tool  

Meeting the need

Sara says CSIT is being used at a strategic level for commissioning and making decisions about priorities. For instance it can be used to understand what the issues are in deprived communities.

“It is also being used by Children Centre managers for looking at priorities and key issues in their local area. Since most of the data goes to LSOA it gives them a good grasp of what is happening at local community level,” says Sara.

Sara says the team is working to improve awareness of CSIT and presentations have been made to voluntary and other groups. Sara says: “It has relevance for a wide range of users across health, education and social services. Informal feedback has been very positive so far.”

Future developments

CSIT currently covers communities in the Poole area and Sara explains that the intention is to widen this to include Bournemouth – this would mean replicating what they have done with the data for Poole. This has now been agreed in principle.

“We are constantly trying to think of ways that we can develop CSIT band this may mean developing templates that allow users to link between different datasets so they can begin to explore links between variables.”

Key benefits

  • CSIT is helping Poole Partnership publish a large amount of data to a wide range of individuals
  • The website is helping to answer ad hoc requests for data
  • The team has more time to spend working with users to help them ask the right questions of the data
  • The data is presented in a format that non-specialist users can understand
  • CSIT will be used to inform Poole’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Other InstantAtlas public safety stories and reports that will interest you

Devon County Council - Using a shared online resource to ensure Devon’s strategic partners make evidence-based decisions using the same data

Bristol City Council - Giving Bristol and its neighbourhoods access to local data in a visually compelling and easy-to-understand way

Brighton and Hove Local Information Service - Using a Local Information System to improve data sharing and needs assessment

Child and Maternal Health Observatory - Using data presentation to improve the commissioning of child and maternal health services

CAWT - Providing insight to improve the quality of children’s lives in the border regions of Ireland

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