This project wishes to bring joined-up, best-practice digital thinking to the challenging problem of directory-based information. Every local authority, health organisation, police force, together with other voluntary sector partners are attempting to maintain some form of directory-based information. Aside from the basic fact that this is difficult information to curate in an accurate and meaningful manner, typically there is little join-up, no data standards, quality assurance and little in the way of automated (= efficient) data harvesting or publishing via APIs. Many directories have artificial geographical boundaries, resulting in the poor provision of information to citizens located near administrative boundaries.

Our experience of maintaining directories, over many years, and conversations with different partners and suppliers locally and across England, including health, police and the voluntary sector have convinced us that there is considerable merit in undertaking discovery work to understand what a ‘directory as a service’ could and should look like in 2019.

We believe that the essential underpinning to any vision of joined-up data is a data standard (s). To compliment any data standard(s), and to ensure that data can be accessed and shared easily, we also believe there would be a considerable benefit to be gained by researching and defining a fully featured API or suite of APIs.

You can read our original expression of interest, together with our full bid for more information. We are currently identifying an agency or partner to work with to deliver the discovery phase by the end of March. You can read the requirements on the Digital Marketplace.

Image of Paul eating ice cream.

Paul Brewer, Adur and Worthing Council

Image of Tom standing on a snowy mountain in Scotland.

Tom Dixon, Devon County Council

Image of Ben wearing glasses looking puzzled.

Ben Unsworth, Buckinghamshire County Council

Get in touch

As we are getting the project underway we are keen to make contact with suppliers, partners, projects, interested parties who have knowledge, or experience, or simply passion for the subject. Until we get a more formal mechanism in please, it is probably easiest to email Tom Dixon with some details of your interest. Please include ‘OpenCommunity’ in the subject line of your email. thanks!