Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced the release of the Digital Inclusion Blueprint, Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko, which “will help us identify groups of New Zealanders who may struggle to access online services”. We applaud this announcement which provides a focus on the activities and investment needed to ensure full participation in the digital world for all.
The blueprint contains a clear definition of the elements of digital inclusion – Motivation, Access, Skills and Trust; we welcome this clarity, which provides a common framework for the diverse participants to work with. The blueprint also identifies four key roles for government – to lead, to connect, to support and to deliver. The associated action plan has some critical milestones in 2019 which will provide a strong foundation for the success of future Digital Inclusion programs.
We recently published our views on Investment in Digital Inclusion, which are well aligned with the Wellbeing approach that will feature in Budget 2019. We have used research data from ten years of digital inclusion programmes in New Zealand, supplemented by 2018 research from the UK where NZ data is not available, to identify the outcomes and impact of Digital Inclusion. Government has the result of this work – a robust case for investment based on the Living Standards Framework.
We look forward to working on the key activities in the action plan which are scheduled to complete in the next three months:
- Outcomes framework and measurement approach
- Evaluation of Digital Inclusion initiatives
- Investment Framework for Digital Inclusion
- Digital Inclusion Research Agenda
We hope that 20/20 Trust’s experience in delivery, research and evaluation will be invaluable in supporting “the ambitious goals this Government has set for New Zealand, including our commitment to lift the wellbeing of our society”.