GDS has spent the last few months hosting consultations relating to the Strategy that have included digital inclusion thought leaders and practitioners across a variety of sectors.
This culminated in workshop with its Digital Inclusion Delivery Board and Departmental Group with the intention of using the feedback gained to iterate and refine the government’s approach to digital inclusion.
According to GDS, there are six priority areas for digital inclusion: partnerships, communication, evidence, investment, policy and provision and governance and currently has projects in place which represent these areas.
It claims over 70 public, private and voluntary sector organisations have now supported activity under the Digital Inclusion Charter and signatories have met at biannual forums to promote best practice, policy department and matched corporate sponsorship to digital inclusion delivery programmes.
The organisation has also established the Digital Friends initiative where people are encouraged and motivated to share their digital skills with friends, employees and customers.
Meanwhile, the Digital Inclusion Outcomes Framework was recently launched as a template for tracking digital inclusion in the UK and evaluating activities locally.
A procurement framework to facilitate the purchase of digital training and support by Whitehall and local government is also set to launch next year.
Going forward, GDS has received feedback from its events and consultations that it needs to promote why digital inclusion is important.
Feedback has also been given claiming that it needs to evidence return on investment (ROI) by sharing best as well as worst practice alongside case study examples.
In the future, the organisation intends to adopt a ‘top-down’ approach, driven by senior leaders and make links to wider agendas such as productivity and digital transformation.