Kent: SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS
"Better services for networked citizens"
In the British civil service is in place for some time a process of alliance between the central municipalities , local governments and non-governmental agencies to provide better services to the citizens ( the so-called Local Strategic Partnerships ) . In some areas this border co-operation is quite complex because the local government is divided into two areas: the County Council who is responsible for education and social services and the District Council that controls the management of social housing management services of public land, waste collection … . The Kent County Council is the central municipalities that aggregates 12 local municipalities with a population of about 1 million and 700 thousand inhabitants and an annual budget of over 2 billion pounds. The Local Strategic Partnerships involving , in addition to local public administrations , numerous local non-profit agencies . The city center still retains the responsibility to coordinate and define those agreements to deliver services to citizens and coordinate initiatives in the area. Partnerships are initialed on the basis of three years and is the central task of the municipalities to monitor the quality of services provided by local authorities.
To try to improve the level of service delivery the county of Kent County Council has decided to appeal to the Social Network Analysis .
Social Network Analysis has represented the first step in an initiative to re- design of services to citizens through a methodology that places the user as the protagonist of the definition of the service.
OpenKnowledge has mapped the informal networks and highlighted the role that each subject had in the processes of collaboration and value generation , highlighting strong ties and weak ties , identifying the key nodes and isolated nodes of the network. 350 questionnaires were sent out to define the purpose of the relationship with other areas of expertise. The questionnaire collected information about people (role, organization , headquarters, the division’s activities , interests of the organization … ), relations (who provides support, information about who is particularly useful in critical situations ) and on the subject to which respondents would wanted to turn to best accomplish the objectives of their work .
On the basis of these data have been processed about 100 maps showing the different combinations of people and allow you to have clear directions on how to improve collaboration and finalize interventions to improve the delivery of services.
The case of the Kent County Council is an example of how in certain contexts the Social Network Analysis can also be used in the public sector . The analysis has allowed us to make comparisons that allow you to assess the level of fluidity and efficiency in the distribution of information allowing an organization to move in a timely and accurate for the optimization and improvement of the efficiency of the entire structure.