Building a reusable directory of community services

About the project

All local authorities in England have a statutory duty to provide information to residents about services that are available in the local area. This is often published in the form of an online directory. In the Royal Brough of Greenwich we have the Greenwich Community Directory

Many community directories fail to meet the needs of residents, council staff, frontline referrers, and providers of community services. A lot of information is irrelevant, or hard to navigate. Maintaining the directory is a frustrating experience too, with council staff and service providers using technology which doesn’t meet modern expectations.  

At the Royal Borough of Greenwich, we’re designing a community directory that better meets our different users’ needs. We want to: 

  • make it easier for residents and frontline referrers to find local services 

  • make it simpler for service providers to share information on the directory 

  • make it more efficient for council staff to maintain the directory 

  • enable better sharing and reuse of data about community services 

The problem we’re solving is one we share with many local authorities, so we’ve received funding from the Local Digital Fund to do this project collaboratively with other councils. Our goal is to create an open-source community directory product that can be easily adopted by others at a low cost. Our vision is that this product will continue to be developed by a community of local authorities who work together to keep solving problems in this space. 

Learn more about our work

Read our blog introducing the reusable community directory project 

Outpost is the open source product we’re developing. Find out more about the product on the Outpost Wiki (where the code is available too) 

Show and tells

Show & Tell for local authorities interested in the project.

View our Show & Tell playlist

View our previous Greenwich Show & Tell slides

How to get involved

If you’d like to chat about the project or to be added to our Show & Tell invites, email Darren (Senior Delivery Manager) or Alex (Product Manager) on Darren.McCormac@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or Alex.Sturtivant@royalgreenwich.gov.uk 

We’re also on LocalGov Digital Slack on the #directories channel.