London boroughs have long been concerned about the issue of digital exclusion. The Covid 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 GLA and LOTI have launched The Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme (DIIP). Working with partners in the public, third and private sectors, our goal is 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, public sector and VCS staff and the wider community of organisations that support digitally excluded people:
For residents: A “minimum access package” that provides a menu of options, backed up by a range of reliable and affordable provision to meet individuals’ essential device, data and skills needs will be available to digitally excluded Londoners.
For borough / voluntary sector staff: Practitioners who work with digitally excluded Londoners will be easily able to access quality information, resources, services and peer support on digital inclusion to aid their users. The evidence base on what works – and the range of mature interventions that can be scaled – will be more extensive.
For corporates: Information on the scale and nature of digital exclusion in London will be more detailed and easily accessible, giving companies a greater ability to provide offers of philanthropic support where they are most needed.
Wave 1 Projects: June – October 2021
The following five projects were identified by boroughs for the first wave of activity:
- Mapping Digital Exclusion with Data: Ongoing – This project will 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 is to test how data insights can help improve the targetting of digital inclusion services more effectively.
- Digital Inclusion Research: Complete – This project brings to light the range of digital inclusion initiatives in London, the key barriers and success factors to tackling digital exclusion.
- Device Upcycling: Complete– This project explores how we can encourage and help London’s public sector organisations to upcycle their retired devices to benefit digitally excluded Londoners.
- Digital Inclusion in Temporary Accommodation: Complete – This project aims to address the specific needs of digitally excluded individuals and families living in temporary accommodation.
- Supporting Dementia Carers: Underway, due to complete in April 2022 – This project builds on a previous discovery by Community Makers to find ways to find digitally-enabled ways to support the carers of people living with dementia.
Wave 2 Projects: November 2021 – January 2022
The following six projects were identified by boroughs as a priority for the next quarter of the programme:
- Triaging support for digitally excluded residents
- Developing services for specific personas / segments
- Maximising use of the Adult Education Budget for digital skills
- Providing devices
- Using social value
- Providing social tariffs
If you work in London local government and wish to get involved in these 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.