Creating public value for your community

Creating public value for your community

How can you create public value for your community? To build public value, you’ll need to know the characteristics of your community members and the drivers for the local economy – and how they are changing over time.

.id are proud to be sponsoring the Local Government Managers Association (LGMA) National Congress and Business Expo in Darwin, on 29 April-1 May this year. We hope to see you there! The conference brings together local government professionals across the country, with an impressive array of speakers this year including Tim Costello, Barry Jones and Jane Caro. And the theme is “Creating Public Value” in local government.

What is public value?

According to Wikipedia, the concept of public value “equates managerial success in the public sector with initiating and reshaping public sector enterprises in ways that increase their value to the public in both the short and the long run.”.

In short, it is about what your organisation contributes to the community you work with, in terms of services which the public find valuable, and how to improve that value-proposition, so that the public see that they are getting value for money and local government is contributing to the public good and quality of life.

How does .id create public value?

.id creates public value in two ways.

By providing a suite of tools which enable council staff to make decisions based on measured facts and evidence, helping to better target and improve the services provided.

For instance, councils can use to look at where the largest increases in pre-school population will be over a particular time period, to better locate new pre-school and kindergarten physical infrastructure, and child care services. can also tell you when those populations will start to decline, and how areas move through a cycle, raising awareness of the need for multi-purpose buildings and re-targetting services for an area to the changing age structure over time.

This type of public value is very much about the services you provide at the moment, and helping to improve them or better target them.

A key part of .id’s philosophy is that these tools should not be restricted to use inside council. All resources are publicly available online through our demographic resource centre.

We’ve always had the view that online and public is better than internal and hidden. So 90% of the information in our toolkit is accessible to the public as well. In this way, the toolkit or, and are public value and a service to the community in themselves. They are a valuable service provided by council to enable residents, businesses, community groups etc. to find out about the area and plan their own activities. For instance, a startup business can look at their potential market by income, education, age structure and household type, and also at their competitors by looking at where other similar businesses are located, and what they generate for the local economy.

Case study – modelling future disability service demand

When the City of Wyndham were looking to attract more providers of aged and disability services to their rapidly growing population, they used .id’s consultancy service to provide specific predictions on the level and type of disability in the community over the next 5, 10 and 20 years. This information was then put into the public domain, to allow service providers themselves to evaluate their own value proposition and decide whether to begin servicing the area. This then has the potential to increase the options for assistance among the most vulnerable members of the community. For more information about the Wyndham disability and ageing work, see this blog.

So while it may be something of a modern buzzword, public value is really about what local government has been doing for many years – ensuring you’re providing the best services for your community at the time, and remember that your community is changing all the time! Public value has always been at the core of what .id does.

If you’re attending the LGMA national congress in Darwin, drop in and see us, and find out a bit more about what we do. We’ll be showcasing not just our online products but also our consultancy work and how it can be used to create public value. We are at booth number 15, come and say hi!

Visit the demographic resource centre

Glenn Capuano - Census Expert

Glenn is our resident Census expert. After ten years working at the ABS, Glenn's deep knowledge of the Census has been a crucial input in the development of our community profiles. These tools help everyday people uncover the rich and important stories about our communities that are often hidden deep in the Census data. Glenn is also our most prolific blogger - if you're reading this, you've just finished reading one of his blogs. Take a quick look at the front page of our blog and you'll no doubt find more of Glenn's latest work. As a client manager, Glenn travels the country giving sought-after briefings to councils and communities (these are also great opportunities for Glenn to tend to his rankings in Geolocation games such as Munzee and Geocaching).

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