The Digital Log Book (DLB) is a web based enterprise portal empowering people to interact with on-line local authority/government services, in-line with the U
Birmingham City Council developed the Digital Log Book project, with initial funding from the Department of Work and Pensions, to help those of its residents affected manage the transition to Universal Credit. The Digital Log Book was piloted with new applicants for council housing in the city, to address digital, social and financial inclusion, employment and health and well-being by changing people’s behaviour to help develop more sustainable tenancies.
Birmingham City Council housing teams worked in partnership with Etive, an SME that was already developing digital platforms in the private sector. This was facilitated through Digital Birmingham, the local authority’s team responsible for exploiting the benefits of digital technologies, who identified the opportunity to utilise the digital logbook to transform service provision and enhance digital skills. Birmingham City Council brought internal knowledge of the council business and organisation and Etive supported digital re-design through its technology expertise. It was co-designed with the new housing tenants and support staff centred on the ‘Gateways of Influence’ model, which looked at every aspect of the tenancy and an individual’s journey through that process.
The development of the Digital Log Book has been a key enabler in looking at how the local authority has transformed its service delivery to social housing tenants and shift to a digital by default model of service to achieve efficiencies & inclusion.
Key costs are associated with the purchase of the user DLB licenses and systems integration associated with the design and service need being addressed.
Evidence of success
Simple to use digital by default tenancy journey; More effective use of front line teams; Reduced system costs to serve by transferring additional services onto online channels; Tenancy sustainability increased by 5%; Birmingham City Council saw the number of evictions reduce within the first 12 months by 57, which saved £400K based on an average cost of managing an eviction being £7K; Rent arrears reduced by £144K within the first 12 weeks of starting a tenancy.
The need to ensure an integrated whole systems approach otherwise the benefits will be lost
Potential for learning or transfer
This Digital Log Book can be utilised by anyone as their own personalised digital portal and can be configured to incorporate different modules to suit their own particular needs e.g. health. It can also be integrated with back end systems that are used by housing associations and others making it easy for the user to transfer when moving from one housing authority to another, as all the data on the individual is kept in their own portable Digital Log Book. It has already been used for other programme activities for example to provide a personalised portal for up to 5000 unemployed citizens together with service directory and referral system that could be utilised by front line staff to refer clients to get additional help and support for at least 750 clients to achieve outcomes of work, training, apprenticeships, volunteering and/or business start-ups.