OCF has made online statistical mapping tool Local Insight available free of charge to assist the charitable sector in identifying those most vulnerable to the crisis.
Local Insight gives charities and local governments the latest data and analysis for their communities and services, with up-to-date open data matched to the areas they work in. It enables organisations to make better-informed decisions to improve their services, bringing in hundreds of data sources that give objective information about deprivation, health, education, housing, employment, crime and much more.
Developed by OCSI, the tool is usually a paid-for product, and OCF has used it since 2018 to build a knowledge bank of reports that identify priority geographies and beneficiary populations for our grant-making. Now, in response to the coronavirus crisis, we have funded a publicly available version for Oxfordshire that brings together relevant data on Covid-19 risk factors, including prevalence of underlying health conditions, communities at most economic risk, and information about where people may have trouble accessing support services.
This information could be used by charities and volunteer-led groups to identify the geographies where they should focus their emergency response efforts, or by councils to prioritise statutory services. The tool is free and unrestricted to access and will continue to be publicly available beyond the immediate Covid-19 response.
Users can choose a dataset of interest, then zoom in on the map to see information about the population right down to neighbourhood level. The colour-coded maps compare local data to the national picture so that users can identify those areas most in need.
Simon Barnard, self-declared data geek from OCF’s Community Impact team, has been instrumental in setting this up. He says: “The tool provides many layers of rich information in one place, allowing you to see instantly which neighbourhoods in the areas you cover are most vulnerable. OCSI has published sets of data that they felt were relevant to Covid-19; we thought this was an excellent use of data and published all these data sets on our map. This is a work in progress and will be continuously updated to provide ever more useful groupings and downloadable reports in the coming weeks and months.”
OCF is incredibly grateful to OCSI for their responsiveness, putting together this public-facing site for us in just 48 hours.
Data on groups that have been funded by OCF’s Coronavirus: Community Resilience Fund will also be added to Local Insight on a weekly basis, allowing charities to see what work is already being done in their area. This data is published by OCF to the 360 Giving standard on open data platform GrantNav.
Simon will be providing guidance for groups keen to make the most of the tool via OCF’s webinar series. Watch this space for further details.