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Open working and reuse was a core part of the overall model - not just for the programmes themselves, but for the wider sector initiatives we initiated. Put simply, reuse is where one organisation uses - with permission - a tool, service or other asset originally developed by another organisation. Repurposing existing resources in this way saves money, reduces risk - and frees up staff time and resources.

We encouraged the sharing of assets throughout, and mandated publishing with an Open License, either LGPL or similar for Open Source or Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike).

This (general) event recording from December 2020 features CAST’s Head of Technology Chris Thorpe exploring how and why to develop for openess and reuse.

Open Working Lineup:

In October 2020, we put out a contract opportunity for a partner to help charities and agencies embrace reuse and open working. This was won by the Open Working Lineup (OWLs) team, a collective of content and service designers comprising Christine Cawthorne (Crocstar - Content design), Ross McCulloch (Third Sector Lab - strategic lead and service design, Matt McStravick (Deepr - Service design), Marlous Lang-Peterse (Third Sector Lab - Project manager) and Joe Roberson (Freelance - Content design/service design).

The OWLs supported charities across the Definition, Development (2A + 2B) and Sector Challenge programmes to develop the skills and mindset needed to reuse assets and work in the open, both for the duration of the programme and into the future.

Across their work the OWLs supported the sharing of over 600 assets, including 382 charity assets, 190 blogs and weeknotes, 24 agency blogs and week notes. In the course of this they were working with 123 charities and 42 digital agencies.

Take a look at Christine Cawthorne’s blog on ways to make working in the open easy, and update on charities working in the open.

Open working toolkit:

As an extension to their initial contract, the OWLs designed a comprehensive open working toolkit, containing all the content that they had produced whilst coaching grantees through six months of open working. Containing original assets such as weeknote and blog templates, and advice on practical matters such as working with open licences, the toolkit is designed to help charities, funders and other organisations share their own work openly - and reuse the assets, ideas and advice already made public by others. Take a look at Christine Cawthorne’s blog on why and how to work in the open.

Festival of Learning:

In May 2021, we held a two-week online Festival of Learning, featuring 22 posters from charities that had completed a digital project (mostly via one of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response programmes) and were keen to share the insights gained and assets developed.

Visitors to the free Festival were invited to book into Group Learning sessions or Digital Coffee slots to learn more from the charities involved. The Festival of Learning pages on the Catalyst website attracted 3,195 visits (2,419 unique).

The Festival kicked off with a launch event video, in which CAST’s Head of Technology Chris Thorpe was joined by Beats Bus Records and Oxford Hub to discuss the many benefits of reuse for charities working on digital project; read more in our news article.

Reusable resources and assets:

We have collated all resources developed as part of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response fund into this section of our website. These resources range from research insights and user personas, to journey maps and visual design assets - all of which are now fully available for reuse. Our blog takes a look at the types of assets available, how to find what you need and how to reuse the resources.

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