The Data & Insight Authority Forum is dependent on active participation and communication from its members. Without you, the Forum will not survive.


Our Terms of Reference are simple. They tell you what the role and purpose of the forum is, how we work, and what your responsibilities are.

Terms of reference


The Data & Insight Authority Forum (DIAF) is a new virtual networking platform that aims to bring together data, insight, research and performance experts, leaders and future leaders from local government and public sector organisations. It was set up by the Insight & Intelligence Team at West Sussex County Council in 2017 through funding awarded from the Local Government Association. 


Role and purpose


The broad purpose of this forum is to enable and provoke local government and the public sector to use data, evidence and insight in their strategic planning, decision making and performance management so that our public services deliver a positive impact on the lives of residents. DIAF will do this by:


Building up a strong and unique virtual team of fellow data, insight, research and performance practitioners that transcends geographic boundaries

  • making it easy to get in touch with relevant and like-minded people in other public sector departments and organisations
  • making it easy to find out who does what and who does things well
  • enabling members to share and find out how other data and insight teams work and how delivery models are set up

Enabling members to produce relevant, exciting and impactful data and insight that makes a difference and stands out even when resource is limited

  • closing the gap between local government and public sector organisations so knowledge is shared and best practice is used
  • enabling members to see what their peers have done in other organisations and sharing ideas and advice
  • sharing capabilities and tools between member organisations 

Developing new concepts for data, insight, research and performance in local government and the public sector

  • bringing together like-minded and passionate people from across local government and public sector organisations
  • allowing members to easily share the latest data and insight news, developments and tools in a rapidly changing field
  • enabling members to solve old and new problems and develop innovative solutions through a strong network of forward-thinkers.


Set-up and communication


The DIAF is a predominantly virtual platform and team, allowing members to communicate and share knowledge with each other wherever and whenever they need to. Members can do this via:


  1. The DIAF LinkedIn group for sharing latest news, updates and events
  2. WhatsApp group for quick response and/or informal communication (to be created after the first summit)
  3. Direct communication with other members
  4. Document and information sharing site on Knowledge Hub 


The Summits


Each year a DIAF summit will be held. These will provide a great opportunity to:

  • meet with fellow members and cement networks and friendships developed in the virtual team
  • showcase some of the excellent and exciting data and insight work and knowledge members have been creating
  • provide solutions for issues or questions members have. 

Members are encouraged to actively participate and help organise the summits to make them as useful and relevant as possible. Volunteers from across the forum will be invited to chair and present at summits. The format and agenda of each summit will be decided amongst the forum through the above communication channels, with the first summit being more of an introductory conference to establish the DIAF and agree how it will work.


Summits will take place across the country, with the first summit taking place in London on 5th December 2017.



Joining, membership and member responsibilities


The DIAF is open to passionate people who work in the data, insight, research or performance field in local government or public sector organisations. The forum is dependent on active participation and communication from its members, so you must be prepared to join in and share your expertise, knowledge and news.


Membership is free, and you can join the forum by:

  1. Emailing
  2. Joining the DIAF LinkedIn group
  3. Submitting a contact form on the DIAF website: 

To remove yourself from the forum, you will need to email



On joining, members will be expected to:

  • Join and contribute to the Knowledge Hub group
  • Submit a brief bio on who they are and what they do for the DIAF website/Knowledge Hub group
  • Share their contact details with other members of the forum
  • Not copy or share outside of the forum any data/insight that another member has shared unless they have received permission or it is open data
  • Any data that is shared must conform to copyright and data protection legislation.