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On 28 October the Result 10 Assisted Digital team hosted a workshop on evidence. The workshop was proposed by the Assisted Digital Advisory Group — following the Assisted Digital Summit held in June — in order to uncover evidence to help in their work. They had questions like:

  • What level of support do customers need?
  • How many people need help to use digital?
  • How many need access to the hardware?
  • How many need help with the skills?
  • How many need help to shift to digital?
  • How many need help to stay in the digital channel?

Action 1 of the Result 10 Blueprint defines the goal of assisted digital as helping people to transact with government in digital channels such as online, and providing alternatives for those who can’t. We’ve further broken this down to helping people:

  • use a digital channel
  • shift to a digital channel
  • stay in a digital channel.

What happened at our workshop

On the day we had a great turnout with just over 20 participants from a range of organisations — Inland Revenue, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development, the 2020 Communications Trust, SeniorNet, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, TalkLink Trust, Statistics NZ, NZ Qualifications Authority, and Department of Internal Affairs colleagues. People were enthusiastic and keen to share knowledge and ideas, despite the 9 am start after a much needed long weekend.

We started the session by working in small groups to identify the types of evidence that are needed. We then shared ideas and clustered them around ‘Use’, ‘Shift’ and ‘Stay’. Was this evidence needed to help people use digital channels, shift to digital or was it about how to get them to stick at it, and stay in digital?

We found that the evidence participants wanted was very detailed in places. Digital literacy providers wanted information about access to broadband and appropriate devices at a more granular level than by household. There was also agreement that we needed more understanding about the difference between ‘digital confidence’ and ‘digital literacy’.

In our preparation for the workshop we looked to what’s been happening in the UK. There they’ve created a digital inclusion scale to help them think about designing assisted digital support. Do we need something similar? Go On UK also has a list of basic online skills it believes that every person, small business and charity need. Do we need this in New Zealand? Do we already have it, but is it hiding somewhere?

In the second half of the session we identified existing metrics and data. The diverse range of participants meant we were able to answer some of the questions already, with a lot of valuable existing data available.

Increasing our understanding

The workshop produced a great amount of existing evidence that we’re now busy processing. The end product will help us see where the gaps are in our knowledge and, what information we do have that can aid those designing services for people use, shift or stay in the digital channel.

We’d love to see any research you have that would contribute to our picture of assisted digital. If you have something to share please send it through. You can leave a comment below or contact me directly on Megan.O'

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