The project was funded to consider the challenges related to the process of identifying and targeting those in greatest need of support during the initial period of COVID-19 lockdown during March-June 2020. The Discovery work evidences that most councils faced similar challenges, in particular
Becoming aware of the data and the data owners for the broad range of data that is held across the system about people and households
understanding the provenance of the data sets and the related assessment and verification processes
matching data about people and properties from different sources where data standards are different and data management practices also differ
applying Information Governance at the right pace and in line with legislation
sharing real-time updates about how people were being supported.
What has become clear, is that the role of identifying vulnerable people and providing access to the right support for their specific needs is about far more than COVID-19; arguably this is a core function of councils and their local partners. Furthermore, the ability to target resources at those in greatest need potentially offers a key opportunity in the face of the ever-tightening financial constraints that the sector faces (this may be about turning around the lives of the most vulnerable, but similarly could be about identifying those with lower levels of need to deliver less expedient or less costly levels of support).

What is SAVVI?

The project therefore looks to share learning and good practice to help councils to better and more quickly identify and mobilise support for those at risk, alongside the ability to track the impact and continuously improve that process. The PID therefore sets out the ambitions of the programme to capture good practice, identify the need for and then start to define related data standards.

The project is being delivered alongside another COVID 19 Challenge funded programme, namely the Homelessness project in
District Council. This project is looking to develop a “risk model” (referred to as a
in retail industry), to identify people at higher “risk” (likelihood) of becoming homeless in the future.

The focus initially was on vulnerability around COVID-19; following the join-up with Huntingdonshire DC, the work has broadened to include consideration of the data that is used in Huntingdonshire to populate their modelling. For the
@Risk Algorithm
developed by Huntingdonshire to be used by other councils, it will need to be applied to precisely the same data sets, that are defined and assessed to the same criteria.

The value of the the SAVVI work, however, is broader still, in that the data standards and the tools may be of value to any initiative that is about identifying people who are vulnerable to any condition or poor outcome, for example poverty, domestic abuse, substance abuse, specific health conditions (like Diabetes for example), Anti-social or racially motivated behaviour. A set of potential “vulnerabilities” are set out in the

Why are Data Standards important?

Digital strategies across
, the Local Government Association (LGA), NHS England,
and the Cabinet Office all set out that the adoption of data standards is a necessity to enable the joined-up, seamless experiences for citizens that is the ambition of digital Government of the future.

It is adoption of a shared data standard that will allow different technologies and processes to work together without the need for any duplicated sets of activity or any human interaction. The purpose of the SAVVI programme is not to advocate for data standards; the need for data standards is widely acknowledged. SAVVI will set out existing and potential new standards that may add value to initiatives where there is a need to identify vulnerable people and mobilise support.
The following links provide some further context related to the purpose and value of interoperability and data standards

Further references and information can be accessed through the following links

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