SMARTnorthumberland

SMARTnorthumberland is a countywide project focusing on increasing the use of new technologies in County workplaces and the community to help foster an inclusive, prosperous and secure Northumberland.

Technological change is happening rapidly, and is changing the ways that we communicate, do business and live our lives. With a unique blend of urban and rural landscapes, Northumberland faces many challenges and opportunities relating to broadband and digital infrastructure. We are challenged not only to keep pace with these technological advancements, but to take an active role in shaping the application of technology for the benefit of our community. The mission of the SMARTnorthumberland project is to take advantage of information and technology in order to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich quality of life.

Digital Literacy Program

From November 2020 to March 2021, Northumberland County and David Robertson from Tech'd Out Technology Services hosted free one-hour online learning sessions about technology and internet safety. This program was developed with support from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Digital Citizen Contribution Program. It was designed to help foster a SMARTnorthumberland, the vision expressed in the County's Digital Strategy. 

Session information and resources

Staying Safe on the Internet

November 16 - December 18, 2020

Through this session, participants learned to identify and defend against common internet-based cyber threats—such as computer viruses, malware and phishing attacks delivered through fake emails and fake websites—using a variety of tools and techniques. The course focused on:

  • Identifying spoofed (fake) emails
  • Identifying fake websites
  • How to ensure secure website login
  • Using antivirus tools
  • Device-specific security

View our Staying Safe on the Internet video

To review helpful tips and tools from this session, download our Staying Safe on the Internet handout.

Bias and Fact Checking

January 4 - February 5, 2021

This session addresses bias, misinformation and disinformation on the internet and provides techniques and credible sources for fact-checking and cross-referencing information. This course focuses on:

  • Identifying credible sources of information
  • Identifying opinion and bias 
  • Common disinformation agencies and articles
  • Fact checking information on websites
  • Cross-referencing information

View our Bias and Fact Checking video

To review helpful tips and tools from this session, download our Bias and Fact Checking handout.

Stopping the COVID-19 'infodemic'

February 15 - March 19, 2021

Through this session, participants will learn how to help stop the spread of misinformation and disinformation in the COVID-19 ’infodemic’ by identifying and sharing credible sources of information. This course focuses on:

  • Fact-checking COVID-19 information
  • Confirming what authoritative health sites say
  • Reading beyond the headline

View our Stopping the COVID-19 'infodemic' video

Session handout coming soon.

Government of Canada logo

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

Digital Strategy 2019

The SMARTnorthumberland project officially kicked off in August 2019 with the release of Northumberland County's Digital Strategy 2019. This strategy was developed through consultations with residents, County Council, County staff, educational institutions, and local businesses and organizations. Northumberland's Digital Strategy identifies current challenges related to digital infrastructure in our community, and looks ahead to seek opportunities for digital innovation, engagement and growth. 

Digital Strategy Overview

Digital Strategy 2019 (Full Report)

Digital Strategy Action Items

Build the digital infrastructure

Internal digital transformational success is based on the ability of our technology infrastructure to support these initiatives. 

2021 Business Plan & Budget

Modernize the workplace

New technologies will be introduced that will support or enhance internal business processes to make service delivery more efficient and effective.

  • Office 365 Migration (complete)
  • Office 365 functionality enhancements (ongoing)
  • Video conferencing enhancements (ongoing)
  • LEAN initiatives (ongoing)
  • Digital signatures (pilot)
  • Remote work enhancements (ongoing)
  • Cybersecurity enhancements (ongoing)

Transform lines of business

This will include upgrading/modernizing the core critical software solutions and where feasible, automating processes for greater efficiency.

  • Redesign of the County website (completed)
  • Implementation of a new Human Resources Information System (ongoing)
  • GIS managed services (completed)
  • Great Plains process optimization (ongoing)

Expand community engagement

Create opportunities for greater discussion and discourse with residents and businesses that will ultimately assist with government decision-making.

Enhance digital service delivery

Enhancing digital service delivery options to provide services to our residents and businesses in an accessible, online and always-available manner.

Our digital service delivery has expanded to include the following online services:

  • Payment
  • Donations
  • Registrations
  • Surveys and forms

Other initiatives:

  • Municipal 511 integration (pending)
  • Live streaming of Council meetings (pending)
  • Website accessibility standards (ongoing)

Establish an open data initiative

Anonymized internal operational data will offer the community an opportunity to download, analyze, manipulate and use the data to create views, opinions or even solutions.

Preparing a "Broadband Assets in Northumberland County" data set for publication

Address broadband challenges

Northumberland County has significant broadband challenges. By connecting and collaborating with our partners including the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), the provincial and federal governments and regional Internet Service Providers (ISPs), every effort will be made to bring this essential service to as many residents as possible.

Some of these efforts include:

2019 information sessions

On September 25, 2019, Northumberland County partnered with EORN to provide two information sessions about connecting Northumberland through mobile broadband initiatives, and Northumberland County's digital strategy. Thank you to everyone who joined us at the sessions in Codrington and Baltimore. If you were unable to attend, please see the presentation slides provided by EORN below.

EORN Presentation - September 25, 2019

Please refer to the broadband page for more information on the ongoing strategy and project.

Establish a digital governance framework

As newer technologies are introduced into the County, privacy and security of our community data must be at the forefront. The best way to achieve this is through the development and implementation of a governance framework based on industry-leading best practices in security and privacy control. (pending)

Pursue innovative opportunities

Innovation is the cornerstone of the new knowledge economy. To succeed in this economy, our community must make itself interesting and attractive to developers and entrepreneurs.

Facilitate digital literacy

Our knowledge about and ability to make use of newer technologies is limited to our understanding of them.

  • Northumberland County is working with Tech'd Out to provide free virtual sessions from November 2020 to March 2021 as part of our Digital Literacy Program.