Thursday, 22 October 2015

Irish Local Authority Spending Site Wins Major International Digital Innovation Award



A website detailing how Irish local authorities source and spend public funding has won a prestigious international digital innovation award.

Localauthorityfinances.com has been declared a winner in the ‘e-Government and Open Data’ category of the UN-based World Summit Awards. The site was developed by the Dublin-based content marketing company Brightspark Consulting on behalf of Publicpolicy.ie, a think-tank that works to promote better economic, social and environmental policies.

Localauthorityfinances.com beat off competition from 178 countries worldwide to become one of 40 winners at the 2015 World Summit Awards (WSA). Two other Irish sites, CoderDojo.com and PledgeSports.org, were also declared winners – in the ‘e-Learning and Science’ and ‘Entertainment and Lifestyle’ categories respectively. All winners will receive their awards at the WSA Global Congress in Shenzhen, China, in February 2016.

Commenting today (15.10.15), Maryrose Lyons, Founder of Brightspark Consulting, said it was testament to the high standard of digital innovation in Ireland that three Irish sites have won awards.

“The World Summit Awards are about recognising digital tools that are ground-breaking, truly innovative and might be said to inspire,” she said. “The idea is that if someone in Brazil – for example – saw a really great Irish site, they might get the idea to do something similar and for the social good.

“For a small country like Ireland to be winning three of the 40 awards this year is truly remarkable. Over 386 nominations were received, and the winners come from 24 different countries. So Ireland is really punching above our weight in this competition, and I think that’s testament to the fact that we have excellent digital and creative talent here.”

Opportunity for Global Showcasing of Irish SMEs

Ms. Lyons said success in the World Summit Awards presents an opportunity for digital SMEs to expand their reach.

“By winning this award, we are effectively gaining a global platform,” she said. “At the Global Congress in China next spring, we will have the opportunity to network with all other winners, as well as with governmental, UN and private sector representatives. We will also get to participate in an exhibition featuring the best digital innovation projects worldwide.

“For an SME from a small marketplace like Ireland, to get this level of international exposure is really great. We developed thelocalauthorityfinances.com site with a very small and all-female team, and we are honoured to have won this award. We’re also delighted to be in such esteemed company as CoderDojo and PledgeSports.org.”

How Localauthorityfinances.com Works

Local authorityfinances.com went live in the lead-up to the 2014 local elections, with the aim of making information on local authorities’ income and expenditure easily accessible to – and understandable by – the general public.

Users of localauthorityfinances.com can select their area from a list of local authorities to see how much their local council spends in various categories, including housing, roads, water and environmental services. They can compare their council’s expenditure to the national average, as well as to spending by neighbouring councils. Users can also see a breakdown of the income received by each council – under categories such as rates, the general purpose grant, and goods and services.

Prior to its success at the World Summit Awards, localauthorityfinances.comwon ‘Best New App’ at the Irish Web Awards last year.