London boroughs have long been concerned about the issue of digital exclusion. The COVID-19 pandemic has made taking action to tackle it more urgent and important than ever.
The London Recovery Board’s Digital Access for All Mission has set a goal for “Every Londoner to have access to good connectivity, basic digital skills and the device or support they need to be online by 2025.” As part of this mission, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and LOTI launched The Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme (DIIP). Working with partners in the public, third and private sectors, our goal was to use innovation methods to discover, design, develop and scale initiatives that support digitally excluded Londoners who have been left particularly vulnerable during the Covid pandemic. This work started in June 2021 and will last for 2 years.
The Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme aims to deliver positive outcomes for London residents, by supporting public sector and VCS organisations that work directly with digitally excluded people.
Key projects delivered to date
The following projects were delivered by LOTI boroughs and their partners:
- Mapping Digital Exclusion: This project sought to build on a previous piece of work by LOTI boroughs to use data to map the scale and nature of digital exclusion in London. The intention was to test how insights from data can help improve the design and targetting of digital inclusion services more effectively. Key deliverables include:
- Digital Inclusion Research: This project brought to light the range of digital inclusion initiatives in London, the key barriers and success factors to tackling digital exclusion. Key deliverable:
- Providing Devices: This project sought to help London’s public sector organisations maximise the number of devices to benefit digitally excluded Londoners. Key deliverables include:
- Digital Inclusion in Temporary Accommodation: This project sought to uncover the specific needs of digitally excluded individuals and families living in temporary accommodation hostels. Key deliverable:
- Supporting Dementia Care: This project sought to design and test digitally-enabled approaches to support people living with dementia to engage online in order to reduce their social isolation adn improve wellbeing. Key deliverable:
- Project toolkit coming soon
- Providing Social Tariffs: This project sought to increase the visibility of and promote the social tariffs available to Londoners. Key deliverable:
- Using Social Value: This project sought to support boroughs in directing the social value provisions of contracts to support digital inclusion.
- Triaging Support for Digitally Excluded Residents: More details to follow
- Directory of Digital Inclusion Service in London: More details to follow
- Digital Inclusion Conference: This in-person event sought to bring together London boroughs and their third and private sector partners to celebrate what’s been achieved to date in tackling digital exclusion in our city and to help organisations to share and connect. Event video coming soon.
What we’re focusing on now
Our main priority for the rest of the programme is to design and launch Get Online London. This is London’s first digital inclusion service – supported by LOTI and the GLA – and delivered by Good Things Foundation. Over the next few months, we’ll be focusing on implementing the infrastructure needed to provide, devices, mobile data and digital skills to Londoners via VCS organisations. More details on this and how you can contribute or get involved can be found on this page.
If you work in London’s local government and wish to get involved in future projects or stay connected with the rest of the programme, we invite you to join our Basecamp space where we will post major announcements and opportunities.