Slide deck and 'How to' pack from Good Things Foundation's June 2021 digital inclusion workshop

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem of digital exclusion, highlighting the need for everyone to be able to access essential services online. Since the start of lockdown, many charities have worked swiftly to adapt their delivery models, continuing to reach beneficiaries through remote channels and providing virtual support. But how can charities go further, and embed digital inclusion into the work they do?

With this critical question in mind, we invited social change charity Good Things Foundation to run a digital inclusion workshop for grantees of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response programmes. The 90-minute workshop, which took place in June 2021, covered three key areas:

  • What is digital inclusion and why is it important?: The nature of the UK digital divide and why it’s important to take action to address it.
  • Understanding how people experience digital exclusion: What stops people engaging with digital, and what support do they need in their digital inclusion journey. 
  • Designing a digital inclusion approach for your organisation: Practical ideas to help charities embed digital inclusion into their mission and ways of working, including ‘six steps to digital inclusion’. 

We’re pleased to be able to share the key resources from this workshop here. You can download the full slide deck, which answers the core question ‘What is digital inclusion?’, and contains information on understanding how people experience digital exclusion, and advice on designing a digital inclusion approach for your organisation. Plus, download the ‘How to’ pack, containing the six steps to embedding digital inclusion, with links to relevant data reports and research on digital inclusion in practice.

We hope these resources provide you with useful information and advice in terms of putting digital inclusion at the heart of operations and service delivery. As the workshop’s attendees noted, small changes and interventions can make a big difference: these are just some of the practical next steps they shared with us at the end of the session: 

  • Building user testing into developing solutions and checking to see whether people are excluded or have difficulties engaging.
  • I will raise the strategic importance with our head of services, as well as ways we can 'make it easy'. I will also ask the questions in number 6 [of the ‘How to’ pack] of some of our beneficiaries in our digital coffee morning.
  • We are writing and reviewing our new social media policy - it is an interesting place to start looking at what we share there, who doesn't currently have access to it and how we will get this information to those who are not motivated to access it.
  • We will do some user testing with our creative elders - to see if they are actually interested in our help.
  • Re-evaluating projects and programmes to look for barriers and small changes we can make.
  • Sending information about this session to all the networks with which I am involved and asking them to send it to their members. Asking them to discuss on and offline about the topic and promote on social media and their websites.
  • Do more work on finding out what the barriers are for [our] beneficiaries and then look at this strategically for advocacy, skills training and partner organisations to offer skills training
  • I will look up the Learn My Way website and share with other staff members. 

Our thanks to Good Things Foundation for delivering the workshop and sharing these resources. Find out more about the Foundation's leading role in campaigning to #FixTheDigitalDivide and distributing devices and data to adults in need across the UK through the Everyone Connected programme at https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/ 

Note: We also held a digital inclusion panel event on 22nd June, in which a panel of experts - from Diversity and Ability, Good Things Foundation, Citizens Online, Inclusion London and Nominet - discussed how to best respond to digitally excluded beneficiaries’ needs. You can watch the full recording here.

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