Digital Inclusion Research

Here are links to research relevant to digital inclusion and digital literacy in New Zealand.  As well as our own programme focused research, we monitor local and international research, analysis and approaches in digital inclusion, digital literacy, work-place and life skills; here is a selection of important, relevant papers, newest first:

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

Your suggestions for inclusion are welcome -please send to

World Internet Project New Zealand Surveys (2018)

The sixth World Internet Project NZ (WIPNZ) survey was conducted in late 2017 by the NZ Work Research Institute, AUT University. 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.

When looking at the report, be aware of new 20/20 analysis to correct (as far as practicable) skewed results due to the sampling method. Correcting for this indicates instead of only 6% at least 11% of New Zealanders don’t use the internet.

UK Consumer Digital Index 2018 (Lloyds Bank And Partners, 2018)

The Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index is the largest measure of financial and digital capability of people in the UK. This, it’s third year, has new details on Basic Digital Skills, digital skills in the workplace, new demographic data, money management attitudes and research on 11-18 year olds.

The research shows clear social benefits (which are more likely for people with low compared to high income) (pg 36):

  • 82% of people credit the internet with connecting them better to friends and family
  • 72% says it is helping to save time
  • 53% say it has helped them find a job

Disabled people are more likely than people without disability to report some social benefits:

  • 27% more likely to say that the internet helps them feel less alone (52% vs. 41% UK average)
  • 13% more likely to say that they feel more part of a community (54% vs. 48% UK average)
  • 9% more likely to say that it helps them manage their health (50% vs. 46%)

Despite this, registered disabled people are four times more likely to be offline. (25% vs 6%  pg 35)

Considerable financial benefit to:

  • Households with over £40,000 income per year are 47% more likely to have full 5 Basic Digital Skills than those with income under < 17,5000 (pg 34)
  • The 10% of the workforce without Basic Digital Skills earn £13,000 less than those with all five Basic Digital Skills (that’s half the average wage) (pg 7)
  • Unemployed people are 3 times more likely to not have all basic skills (27%) than those employed (10%) (pg 24)

UK Consumer Digital Index 2018 Report summary:
Full UK Consumer Digital Index 2018 report (PDF): 

Back to index

People Power And Technology: Doteveryone UK Digital Attitudes Report 2018

This research looks beyond internet usage and explores how the British public thinks and feels about the internet technologies shaping our world and changing our lives. It is based on a nationally representative survey of 2,000 people online and 500 by phone, and in-depth focus groups.

This report highlights:

  • The internet has a strong positive impact on individuals, but not so been beneficial for society. 50% say it has made life a lot better for people like themselves, only 12% say it’s had a very positive impact on society.
  • There is a major understanding gap around technologies. Only a third of people are aware that data they have not actively chosen to share has been collected. A quarter have no idea how internet companies make their money.
  • People feel disempowered by a lack of transparency online products and services. 89% want clearer terms and conditions, half would like to know how their data is used but can’t find out.
  • There is a public demand for greater accountability from technology companies. Two thirds say government should be helping ensure companies treat their customers, staff and society fairly.

Executive Summary

Full report: People Power and Technology: Doteveryone Digital Attitudes Report 2018 (pdf)

Back to index

Critical Issues And Emerging Issues: The Digital Economy In New Zealand (Dr.Lynn, 2017)

The author’s contention is that New Zealand can be a world leader, particularly in

1. Social equity and population well-being—through conscious economic development in the digital age and
2. Regenerative environmental management.

Lists 20 Critical Issues and 11 Emerging Issues for NZ.

Executive Summary (PDF)

Back to index

Digital Skills For A Digital Nation (Dec 2018, NZ Digital Skills Forum)

The focus of the ‘Digital Skills for a Digital Nation’ report is on the opportunities of – and advanced skills needed by – a growing Information Technology Industry in New Zealand. It estimates we needs annually about 10,000 more people with advanced digital technology skills than we graduate from computer studies and information technology courses.  It does stress the “urgent need for every citizen to be armed with a basic level of digital literacy, so they can continue to engage in everyday life; to pay their bills, apply for a passport or order goods.”

Digital Skills  press release and downloadable report

Back to index

Future Digital Inclusion Programme Evaluation 2016-17 (May 2017, Good Things Foundation)

The Good Things Foundation charity is the UK’s leading digital inclusion organisation. This short report reviews its Future Digital Inclusion programme for 16/17 and links to research on results: 90% of learners progress to future learning, it delivered benefits to individuals and government estimated at 150 million pounds and around 60% of learners report more confidence and feeling happier.  There are many parallels in approach, effectiveness and measured results between the Foundation and the 20/20 Trust.

Future Digital Inclusion programme page with links to this and other evaluations

Back to index

Pulse of our Nation MBIE report looks at digital in/exclusion in NZDigital New Zealanders: The Pulse Of Our Nation (May 2017, Digital Inclusion Research Group)

The report, released by Government in December 2017,  looks at four main areas, and makes 23 recommendations to address issues and opportunities, to help inform Government’s next steps with the Digital New Zealanders part of the Digital Economy Work Programme:

  • Defining what digital inclusion means and those who appears most at risk of digital ‘exclusion’
  • The role of digital capabilities or skills, are there particular capabilities that appear most valuable to have, and do these capabilities appear to have any impact on economic and social wellbeing?
  • What research and interventions have been undertaken by other countries into the value of trying to increase digital inclusion in their populations, the results these have had and what interventions have also been undertaken in New Zealand to lift digital inclusion and what results these are achieving?
  • Whether any of these interventions could be suited to New Zealand’s specific circumstances and populations.

The research was commissioned by MBIE and DIA and was written by an independent digital divide/digital inclusion research group that included (among others) 20/20’s Laurence Zwimpfer and Barbara Craig, and Catherine Cotter who subsequently became a 20/20 Trustee. Published in May, the report has been released by the new coalition government.

Download “Digital New Zealanders: The Pulse of our Nation” at

20/20 news item with links to Minister’s release and media comment.

Back to index

The State Of The Internet 2017 (InternetNZ)

This is third annual report of its kind; the first being in 2015. The annual State of the Internet report is a look at some key aspects of the Internet in New Zealand. It looks at access to the Internet, and creative uses of the Internet, and this year has an in-depth look at trust and security issues in New Zealand.

You can download the full report here:

Back to index

Digital Planet 2017: Digital Evolution Index  (November 2017, Tufts University And Mastercard)

The Evolution Index is economy and investment focused, with more than 100 indicators, across four key drivers: Supply Conditions, Demand Conditions, Institutional Environment, and Innovation and Change. New Zealand is listed as number 14 (out of 60) in terms of ‘Digital Evolution’ but one of 3 clear stand-out countries  when ‘momentum’ is taken into account.

The paper also analyses the concepts and elements of Digital Trust; NZ is ranked 17th in Trust.

“Digitalization is now driving globalization. As such, achieving a competitive advantage in the global digital arena has become a key priority for governments, businesses and citizens who strive for inclusion and relevance in this global marketplace. It is also clear that momentum, innovation and trust all have a critical role to play when countries look to improve their digital development.”

Back to index

The Inclusive Internet: Mapping Progress 2017 (Nov. 2017, The Economist/

This Inclusive Internet Index rates 75 countries (but does not include NZ ) by Availability/Affordability/Relevance/Readiness

Back to index

Digital Skills For Life & Work (Sept 2017, UNESCO Broadband Commission For Sustainable Development )

The report examines how the education sector can ensure that all people develop essential digital skills for life and work.

Monash University reports that the report directs special attention to the often-overlooked ‘soft’ skills required to thrive a technology-saturated world. These include understanding the implications of online activities; recognition of privacy considerations; knowledge of how to engage as responsible citizens in online environments; and awareness of how digital technology, big data and algorithms affect individuals and communities.

The Report offers a series of pointed policy recommendations and advises governments to maintain public involvement in digital skills development and redouble efforts to address inequalities in the provision of digital skills and competencies.

Back to index

Perception And Reality Of Digital Skills In Singapore (ICDL Asia, July 2017)

The perception and reality of digital skills in Singapore have been revealed in a new study by ICDL Asia, with eight higher education institutes. 373 students were asked to rate their digital competencies in basic ICT tasks, including using spreadsheets and word processing software, working with files and managing data, and working online. The average difference between their perceived and actual performance was 14% points, and although 88.5% of them rated themselves as ‘fair to excellent’, their average performance was in ICDL’s digital competency tests was only 55%, 20% points below the competency pass rate of 75%.

Back to index

New Zealand Perceptions Of The Internet (InternetNZ, August 2017)

Each year InternetNZ commissions research about Kiwis’ attitudes to the Internet – their hopes and fears. This will build a useful resource and determine trends over time that input into planning.

InternetNZ’s 2017 Internet Research – key findings and links to their press release, infographic and summary slides.

Back to index

Australian Digital Inclusion Index (August 2017)

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index measures the extent of digital inclusion in Australia, to baseline digital inclusion in Australia and assess progress over time. It will provide critical insights to translate into more effective policies, products and programs to improve digital inclusion and ensure no one gets left behind.

The initiative will involve extensive consultation with key community, academic, government and business organisations with an interest in improving digital inclusion in Australia. Produced by Telstra, RMIT University and the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne, powered by Roy Morgan Research.

The second Australian Digital Inclusion Index Report was released on 1 August 2017 and is available here.

Back to index

UK Digital Exclusion HEAT Map (2017)

The map’s aim is to help organisations on the ground – from local authorities to district libraries – to direct their resources in the areas and to the people who need them the most in the UK.

Back to index

Social Isolation And Loneliness In The UK And Using Technology To  Tackle Them (April 2017)

This paper, from the UK Government funded Internet of Things (IoT), looks at the economic and personal costs of isolation and loneliness in the UK, and at the encouraging return on investment of some innovative projects using technology to reduce health service costs.

“Technology-based interventions such as video conferencing, computer training and the provision of internet access have been shown to have generally positive effects on social isolation, while the impacts of social media are less conclusive. While the enablers listed above are well evidenced, there are a number of more innovative interventions that are leveraging technology to tackle isolation and loneliness.”

Read more about Social Isolation and Loneliness in the UK and using technology to tackle them (IoTUK April 2017)
Download the Social Isolation and Loneliness in the UK report (pdf, 5MB)

Back to index

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.”

Back to index

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.

Back to Index

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

Back to index

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)

Back to Index

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)

Back to Index

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.

Back to index

NZ Privacy Survey Results (April 2016)

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

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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”.

Back to index

Schools As Digital Community Hubs (February 2014)

This report summarises the experience of eight community wireless initiatives and suggests 10 steps to success.

Back to index

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:

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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.”

Back to index

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.

Back to index

Community ICT Research Web Links

Back to index

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