Digital inclusion refers to the efforts made to ensure that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status or location, has access to and can effectively use digital technologies such as computers, the internet, and mobile devices. This includes providing access to technology, digital skills training, and support to help individuals and communities fully participate in an ever increasing digital world.
Why is digital inclusion important?
The goal of digital inclusion is to make sure that all people have the ability to use the internet to do the things online that benefit them from day to day. In this information-centric world, increasingly everything is done online. More services and buying and selling are going exclusively online as well as government services—passport applications and renewals, access to tax and pension records—so those who don’t have online access are becoming increasingly disadvantaged.
There is still a high percentage of households without internet access as identified in the last 2018 Census, so many in Aotearoa New Zealand are still digitally excluded in some way.
A digitally-included person, whānau or community has convenient, reliable access to affordable, accessible digital devices (such as computers or smart phones) and an internet connection (through fibre, broadband, wi-fi and mobile), and can confidently use them in their day-to-day life.
The four pillars of digital inclusion
There are four interdependent digital inclusion elements — access, skills, motivation and trust as shown below. These are at the core of all our programmes.