Funka's network of municipalities: "Clearly the most important network!"
Since 2008, we work together with some 60 municipalities in a network to develop better digital solutions, learn from each other and just network. This is how it is described by some of the members:
This is what Monica Sjöqvist, Communications Officer at the municipality of Sundsvall, Sweden, says:
When developing a website, it is a great advantage to be able to learn from other people's experiences. Together we learn about new laws, and not least about reflecting on accessibility. It gives us a head start! Networking is valuable, since we all have similar problems and similar structure.
The assignments for the network of municipalities are ongoing throughout the year and participants meet at meetings where we present results, lecture, discuss and plan forthcoming work.
It is very rewarding to get tips and advice from each other. In the network, I have experienced among the best lectures I've been to at all, you learn incredibly much! continues Monica Sjöqvist.
The idea behind the network of municipalities is that the participants decide what we are going to work with. The municipalities know what is most important to handle right now. A popular agenda item is that municipalities share their own experiences on a particular topic.
Zeke Karlsson, Web coordinator at the municipality of Kalmar, Sweden, says:
The best part is the exchange, you share experiences with others. We learn more about legislation on the website etc. It is a plus that we ourselves participate in and can influence the program of the meetings and what will be on the agenda in the future.
That the Funka network focuses on accessibility and usability might not come as a surprise. But the the assignment is much wider than that. We regularly invite external experts and handle a wide range of current topics.
For my part, it is clearly the most important network! continues Zeke Karlsson.
Many municipalities find it difficult to get the management to understand the importance of accessibility. Perhaps the EU-legislation will make a difference.
Funka has been very helpful with arguments for accessible web, when it comes to convincing politicians and management. It is important to bring everyone on board, concludes Monica Sjöqvist.
The network produces reports and materials that all participants have access to. Since we have been on for 10 years, there is a lot of knowledge to botanize in.
At our last meeting, we had a visit from the Finnish County Council, which is considering arranging something similar in Finland. We are glad that they were inspired by us!