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Digital public sector news, research & engagement

Helen Olsen

Helen Olsen Bedford, Publisher, / Head of Communications, DCLG's Local Digital Programme

Helen is joint founder and publisher of UKAuthority, the prime digital communication channel to 34,250 public sector decision makers across local and central government, police, fire, health and ancillary services. UKAuthority is 'the' trusted, independent media organisation providing news, engagement and research with the aim of promoting digital innovation and best practice for better and lower cost digital public services that citizens choose to use.

In September 2013, in open tender, Helen led UKAuthority's successful bid for the contract to deliver a communications and engagement capability for the Department for Communities and Local Government's Local Digital Programme. Overall, the programme promotes digital transformation across local public services in the quest to deliver 'better for less'. It also acts as a broker between local services and central government departments where digital join up could dramatically improve both service delivery and user experience whilst reducing cost.

Part of this contract involved Helen taking the in-house role of Head of Communications for the programme within DCLG, with the remit to coordinate and integrate message management and engagement across all channels, with a particular focus on driving the behavioural change required for successful digital transformation.

The programme has pioneered the use of agile principles in programme management – focusing ruthlessly on the user need via discovery and working on an iterative, measured and continual improvement basis.

Helen is passionate about user experience and technology-enabled change - believing that as technology becomes engrained in society the futures of both commercial organisations and the public sector worldwide lie in successfully driving take up of high quality, engaging online services whilst harnessing technology to enable efficient, joined up and informed business processes and communication.