The government has released two papers on Evaluating Digital Inclusion Initiatives. The first paper explains the value of evaluation to understand how well an initiative is working and how it could be better. The second paper presents several case studies that demonstrate good practices in evaluation of digital inclusion initiatives. Computers in Homes is one of four NZ projects that are highlighted, along with four examples from the UK.
20/20 Trust have been committed to evaluation of the impact of our work, and have the most significant national data on the outcomes that have been achieved by Computers in Homes graduates. Outcomes reports, which include both quantitative and qualitative analysis, have been published since 2011, and we have used the data to build a business case for investment in Digital Inclusion, which has been provided to government officials.
Government funding for Computers in Homes ended in June 2017 and the final evaluation report was published in 2018. We have managed to secure funding for Digital Inclusion from a range of sources, but focused on operational delivery of skills, access, confidence and motivation. We have not been able to conduct the same level of evaluation which would maintain the longitudinal continuity of data that has been collected for the last 8 years.
Digital Inclusion has significant impacts – the data shows a consistent increase in education, employment and social benefits for learners who have been on our programs. We are working on ways to continue measuring the wellbeing impact of Digital Inclusion and support the business case for investment until everyone in New Zealander is able to fully participate in the digital world.