Manchester, United Kingdom

The Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme was created to enable local government and public bodies in Northwest England to identify, model, transform and release data as linked open data, for use by local government itself and the wider community of citizens and businesses.

It is led by FutureEverything a not-for-profit innovation lab and festival in partnership with Connected Digital Economy and Future Cities Catapults.

The programme grew out of FutureEverything’s long running Open Data Cities programme and was designed to build capacity into local government by; creating a shared linked data platform; building skills within government by the placement of ‘Code Fellows’ – civic minded technologists; building horizontal support structures for all participants; and creating a wraparound programme of external events and training.

It is a 5 phase programme with the first two phases funded at present.

  1. Phase 1 is the design phase and engaged with a core group of three local authorities – Manchester, Salford and Trafford. In this phase the methodology of the programme was co-designed with the participants. Processes for the identification and release of data were designed, challenges addressed and four Code Fellows placed. At the end of the phase the external developer community was invited to explore the data and a Coding Challenge event was run. Several of the proof-of-concepts created are hoped to be supported to prototype stage in the near future.
  2. Phase II is a scaling phase where the rest of the Greater Manchester authorities and additional public organisations are invited to participate. This phase is just about to start
  3. Phase III is a critical phase where the methods and processes developed are then used to tackle sensitive data, creating the potential for multi-service delivery and more intelligent personalised services.
  4. Phase IV is proposed to tackle real-time data
  5. Phase V is proposed to embrace ‘smart’ objects such as sensors
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