Digital inclusion

Despite having spent a large chunk of the last five years working on digital inclusion including a £1 million test and learn project for the Big Lottery, I believe more firmly than ever that the public sector still bases a large part of its digital inclusion strategy on myths.

Digital inclusion is a big issue and becoming a bigger one each year, but the following myths don’t help anyone:

It only takes a nudge to get people online – If you are of working age and offline in 2017 then there are probably some serious barriers preventing you getting online such as literacy, numeracy, low education and deep poverty and it will take more than a nudge to overcome them.

People are either online or offline – Risking a bad pun, it’s not a binary issue.  Many people who are nominally online or have been online are in digital terms functionally illiterate, there skills and confidence are not great enough to yield any great benefit to them.

Poor uptake online is about ‘them’ not us – If in 2017 in one of the most digitally engaged nations in the world your online service has very poor uptake levels it’s probably more to do with your competence than the competence of your service users.

Some further reading that explains why I believe this is given below:

The Case for a Systemic Approach to Digital Skills

Digital Skills Crisis June 2016

Ofcom Communications Market Reports and data