This project is part of LOTI’s Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme, which aims to use innovative methods to design and scale initiatives that support digitally excluded Londoners who have been left particularly vulnerable during the Covid pandemic.
The aim of this project is to design and test specific interventions that help boroughs tackle device poverty by maximising the number of devices available to digitally excluded residents. So far, we’ve prioritised and undertaken work in the following two areas.
The aim of the project was to explore how we can encourage and help London’s public sector organisations to upcycle their retired devices to benefit digitally excluded Londoners.
Lack of a device has been reported as one of the major contributing factors to digital exclusion. Yet, with regular IT equipment refresh cycles in most organisations, including the public sector, there is a massive opportunity to meet at least part of the need by repurposing retired devices.
Even when retired devices are available the process isn’t easy. For many public sector organisations, the concept of device upcycling at scale is new. Some are apprehensive about sharing their old devices due to concerns about data security and cost.
By working with boroughs and other partner organisations, we’re seeking to reduce the barriers to the upcycling of retired devices by providing by demystifying the process and providing practical advice and guidance.
2. Sourcing devices
The aim of the project is to help boroughs maximise the number of devices available to digitally excluded residents by leveraging relationships with boroughs’ key partners.
Upcycling of retired devices remains one of the options available except when large volumes simply aren’t available to meet local demand. Our device upcycling work revealed that boroughs often lack large volumes of retired / disused devices because their IT equipment refresh cycles run every few years.