Digital Inclusion Research

On this page are links to local and international research, analysis and approaches relevant to digital inclusion in New Zealand:

You’ll find more research on the Computers in Homes research page.


Digital Inclusion in New Zealand: Assessing Government policy approaches and initiatives (April 2017)

This study by Ms. Catherine Soper for the Innovation Partnership was co-funded by a Google Fellowship.  It reviews a range of digital inclusion strategies in the United Kingdom, Finland, Singapore and Australia, identifies lessons for New Zealand, and recommends actions to “ensure New Zealanders have the skills required to fully participate and benefit in a digital economy”, supporting the New Zealand Government’s vision/goal of “Ensuring all New Zealanders can fully participate in the digital world to realise the educational, economic and social benefits of ICT.”

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Building a Digital Nation: Part of BGA Building Innovation

The Government is supporting the development of New Zealand’s fast growing digital economy: enabling New Zealand to become a leading digital nation – a nation with a thriving digital sector, where our businesses, people and government are all using digital technology to drive innovation, improve productivity, and enhance the quality of life for all new Zealanders.

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Digital skills and inclusion – giving everyone access to the digital skills they need (UK Govt. March 2017)

Part of the UK’s Digital Inclusion Strategy, this policy addresses the digital divide: helping those missing out lack of connectivity, digital skills, motivation or trust. There are three strands:

  1. tackling root causes of digital exclusion, so all have the capability to make the most of the digital world
  2. developing the full range of digital skills that individuals and companies need, and supporting up-skilling and re-skilling
  3. strong collaboration between the public, private and third sector to tackle the digital skills gap

Digital skills and inclusion – giving everyone access to the digital skills they need. UK Govt. 1 March 2017

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UK Digital Strategy (March 2017)

Following it’s Digital Skills Crisis Report (June 2016) the UK Government developed the UK Digital Strategy covering:

  1. Connectivity – building world-class digital infrastructure for the UK
  2. Skills and inclusion – giving everyone access to the digital skills they need
  3. The digital sectors – making the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business
  4. The wider economy – helping every British business become a digital business
  5. Cyberspace – making the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online
  6. Digital government – maintaining the UK government as a world leader in serving its citizens online
  7. The data economy – unlocking the power of data in the UK economy and improving public confidence in its use

UK Digital Strategy (March 2017)

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The Economic Impact of Basic Digital Skills and Inclusion in the UK (2015)

This report from the Good Things Foundation (formerly Tinder Foundation) presents for the first time both the costs, and the significant benefits of equipping everyone in the UK population with Basic Digital Skills. Findings reveal significant benefits for individuals (including both cost and time savings, as well as social and wellbeing benefits), and for the UK as a whole, in terms of productivity and savings. The Good Things Foundation has a useful research section on digital inclusion in the UK, including an annual Digital Nation infographic.

The Economic Impact of Basic Digital Skills and Inclusion in the UK (November 2015)

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ICT and social inclusion of refugees (September 2016)

The authors interviewed over 50 participants in the Computers in Homes refugee programme, and identified 5 ways that ICT enabled capabilities contribute to social inclusion. They conclude that all social inclusion policies and programmes need to include ICT to build these capabilities.

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NZ Privacy survey results (April 2016)

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s ‘Privacy Concerns and Sharing Data’ survey, conducted by UMR Research.

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Perception Versus Reality: Measuring Digital Skills in Europe (April 2016)

Research in five digitally advanced European countries show that people routinely overestimate their digital workplace competency.

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Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives (January, 2016)

A study of digital inclusion organisations in the USA, by Dr. Colin Rhinesmith (University of Oklahoma) and the Benton Foundation, identifies four essential activities for digital inclusion:

  1. Providing low-cost broadband: Cost continues to be a major barrier: address “ability to pay” rather than “willingness to pay
  2. Connecting digital literacy training with relevant content and services
  3. Making low-cost computers available: Low-cost/free computers just as important as low-cost/free Internet
  4. Operating public access computing centers

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Students, Computers and Learning – Making the Connection (Sept 2015)

This OECD report examines students’ access to and use of ICT devices, and explores how schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences. The report discusses differences – the “digital divide” – related to students’ socio-economic status, gender, location, and school.

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World Internet Project New Zealand surveys (2015 and 2013)

The fifth World Internet Project NZ (WIPNZ) survey was conducted in late 2015 by the Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication, AUT University, with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, InternetNZ and Buzz Channel Marketing.

The WIPNZ is a major londitudinal survey investigating New Zealanders’ usage of, and attitudes towards the internet and has been conducted every two years since 2007. New Zealand Work Research Institute took over the WIPNZ in 2017.

The report said “The digital divide still persists” and “as the availability and use of the internet spreads ever more widely across society, the social cost for the minority who remain on the wrong side of the digital divide keeps on climbing”.

November 2013

The fourth World Internet Project NZ survey was conducted and completed in 2013 by the Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication, AUT University.

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Refugee and computer mediated information (2013 & 2014)

Academic research from AUT supports the effectiveness of the 20/20 Refugee programme’s approach: “ICT becomes a means that allow individuals to live the lives that they value”.

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2013 Census results for households with school-aged children

The 20/20 Trust commissioned Statistics New Zealand to undertake further analysis of the 2013 Census data to get an accurate count of the number and regional distribution of households with school-aged children who do not have access to the internet.

This shows a total of 62,199 New Zealand households with school-aged children who do not have access to the internet. Of these 20,430 (33%) are in Auckland.

Nationally, 15% of households with school-aged children do not have internet access.
Regionally Kawerau (43%), Opotiki (42%) and Wairoa (40%) have the highest percentages.
In Auckland, Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe both have 37% with no access.

The results are detailed in the following files for households with school-aged children.

Download spreadsheets

You can download the spreadsheet files for your own analysis – most have multiple data sheets:

View key data as PDF

The key data sheet from each spreadsheet can also be viewed online as a PDF:

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NZ Govt. Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy

The report contains 48 baseline recommendations, notes that the education sector is changing significantly as result of new technologies and the internet, and concludes that significant change is required across government if our learners and teachers are to take full advantage of digital learning resources available.

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A Summary of International Reports, Research and Case Studies of Digital Literacy (2010)

This report by Knowledge Weavers for the NZ Zealand Computer Society (now ITP – IT Professionals) concludes that “Digital Literacy is now an essential life skill and the right of every NZ citizen”, that “Addressing ICT competence within the workforce would potentially bring about a productivity gain
of up to $1.7 billion per annum for New Zealand” and recommends that New Zealand “Adopt an international standard for ICT competency that is non-proprietary. ICDL/ECDL is recommended.”

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Improving Participation, Retention & Progression of Maori Tertiary Learners in the Whanganui Region (June 2009)

This action research project by Gail Harrison & Whanganui Learning Centre investigated how two Private Training Establishments could improve the participation, retention and progression of Maori Tertiary Learners in the Whanganui Region. The paper identifies ICT as a key driver and cited Computers in Homes and Stepping Up. Penny Robinson’s literature research paper on the issue is also included.

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Community ICT Research web links

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You’ll find more research on the Computers in Homes research page.