Northern Ireland Digital Assist

Northern Ireland Digital Assist

Citizens Online is working with Northern Ireland Direct‘s Digital Inclusion Unit and BT to research and develop a plan to tackle digital exclusion within Northern Ireland. Data from the Office for National Statistics suggests that a lower proportion of the population were recent users of the internet in Northern Ireland than in any other UK region[1]. The Northern Ireland Assist Digital project aims to identify the key barriers to digital inclusion, and to provide insights regarding the people at risk of exclusion, including where they are and how they can best be engaged.

Though our partnership-orientated approach, we hope to lay the foundations for successful collaboration that can truly support people who have difficulties using online public services and accessing the social and economic benefits of the internet. In order to generate real benefits for people as well as service providers, our model is based on making this strategy ‘resilient’ so that it will be sustainable in an environment of changing technologies and government policies.

Such a collaborative approach across a number of organisations is key, according to John Fisher, chief executive of Citizens Online.

“Traditionally, there have been lots of excellent initiatives popping up in different areas but unless you can scale them it’s hard to make significant progress,” he said. “The concept is to bring all those together in a manner which makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.”

If you work for an organisation in Northern Ireland, you can help by completing an online survey to help the partnership better understand the issues and challenges faced by organisations who are engaged in this work already or might need to be in the future.

Whatever the size or role of your organisation we would love you to spend a few minutes completing the questionnaire. As a further incentive three organisations will be drawn at random to receive a Free Tablet Computer.

Follow the Link: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/DLMLD

Read more about our Digital Resilience model and how we’ve used it to deliver benefits as part of the One Digital programme.

[1] ONS data suggest 18.8% of the Northern Ireland population have never used the internet, compared to 14.4% in Wales, 12.8% in Scotland, and 11.4% across the UK. “Northern Ireland had seen the largest increase (13.2 percentage points) in recent internet use since 2011; however, in 2016 it was still the region with the lowest recent usage (82.0%)” (Internet users in the UK: 2016, ONS)

Our survey of Northern Ireland organisations is Powered by SmartSurvey. smart survey logo

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