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Hackney council aims to improve the lives of local youngsters with idea crowdsourcing platform

Hackney council has announced that it is now using an idea crowdsourcing SaaS to attempt to improve the lives of the local youth.

The Young Hackney initiative – whose staff operate in small teams called Young Hackney units – works with youngsters aged from 8 to 19-years-old, and provides youth clubs, sports activities and other opportunities, along with support for young offenders and those affected by mental health problems.

The staff who run these activities and offer advice to youngsters are being looked to for ideas on how to develop and improve the service, and that's where the SaaS, Wazoku's Idea Spotlight for Government, comes into play – allowing all parties to share ideas and collaborate with a minimum of fuss.

Florence Kroll, Assistant Director at Young Hackney, commented: "We needed an easy-to-use platform that allowed for idea generation, crowdsourcing and problem sharing and enabled us all to collaborate effectively. The early results from Wazoku have been impressive, already allowing us to spend less time on admin and more with the young people of Hackney."

The SaaS contains a range of social tools, allowing for commenting, voting, and reviewing ideas that staff have submitted. The best ideas can then be cherry-picked using the system, and enacted.

Simon Hill, MD and founder of Wazoku – a G-Cloud vendor – said: "Local government is increasingly turning to the crowd to address a variety of problems, from policy development to service delivery. By using its staff's expertise in this way Hackney Council is showing a willingness to embrace new and modern approaches to local government, which can only benefit the young people of Hackney."

Read more: Big data vs. Crowd-sourcing - what's the future?