Digital Strategy for Wales: one year on

Posted by Glyn Jones, Chief Digital Officer, Welsh Government

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

It’s been nearly a year since the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS, published the Digital Strategy for Wales which sets out our ambition to use a digital approach to make things better for people, public services and the business community in Wales. 

Even with the ongoing challenges the pandemic has provided, I am pleased to say that a lot has happened during the last 12 months.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some of the exciting digital work that has been going on across the six missions that make up the strategy, so keep an eye on my twitter feed @wg_cdo.

Digital Services Mission

With the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) recently announcing its new Chief Executive, it seems timely to provide an update on how we are doing on the Digital Services Mission

Digital services
Deliver and modernise services so that they are designed around user needs and are simple, secure and convenient.

It would be difficult (and a very long blog post) to list everything organisations are doing across Wales, but here’s a selection of activity in the public sector.

  • One of the biggest projects being led by CDPS has been the landscape review of digital public services. This review is giving us a wealth of insight into the digital and technology maturity of public services in Wales and the CDPS has been keeping everyone informed of progress via blogs and show and tell sessions. This will be really important to help prioritise work over the next few years.
  • The CDPS is working alongside Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on a discovery project into a Hazardous Waste Service, exploring how to make it simpler and easier for people to comply with regulations. They are holding regular “show and tell” sessions as part of their commitment to work in the open. Films of these are available via their YouTube playlist.
  • Sport Wales is also working with the CDPS to explore how to increase the reach and impact of its community investment grant. Following a discovery project and user research, they have already started to build, test and iterate prototypes.
  • In health, there are a number of initiatives which are placing patient care at the heart of services. Digital Health and Care Wales (DCHW) and the Centre have started a 12 week discovery project exploring how patients interact with digital services in GP surgeries in Wales.
  • Sam Hall, Chief Digital Officer for Welsh Local Government, has been demonstrating how she and her team are committed to supporting local authorities work in the open by sharing regular stories via their blog. Also just last month, the Welsh Local Government Association held its first ever Digital Conference. We have also confirmed funding will be in place for Sam and her team for 2022/23.
  • The Centre has been delivering a programme of digital awareness training to senior leaders, to provide them with a better understanding of the digital approach and how it can be used to help people and staff. To date, feedback has been really encouraging: “I can say with confidence that this is the BEST course I’ve ever been on during my 25-year career”.
  • An agreed set of Digital Service Standards has been developed as a result of numerous conversations with many Welsh public sector organisations. They are essentially a set of guidelines that anyone can follow to ensure services are developed in an iterative, agile and user-focused way.
  • A new partnership has been established to promote good digital practice across the third sector in Wales. Newid is a new project delivered by WCVA, Wales Co-operative Centre and ProMo-Cymru, and funded by the Welsh Government. Work is already underway to gather a baseline of digital skills in the third sector to identify how best to help people fully embrace and embed digital ways of working.

If you are interested in finding out more on any of the above then I’d encourage you the click on the relevant links.  

As I have already said, these are just snapshots of the great work that is going on, and many more projects are beginning or in progress.

Keep an eye on my twitter account over the coming weeks to find out more about what is happening across the other missions in the Digital Strategy for Wales.