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Kia ora

Over the last few months, I have had the privilege of putting together the bones of what will become the Digital Inclusion Blueprint.

Kirk Mariner touched on what empowering everyone through digital inclusion might look like.  

The starting point is the Blueprint.  It will set out the vision and framing for digital inclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand, identify what’s already going on and where the gaps are, and propose an action plan for government’s role. It will be the start of an ongoing collaboration and conversation about digital inclusion.

The Blueprint is also an invitation to all individuals, iwi, hapū, communities, organisations and businesses to contribute to a New Zealand where everyone can participate in, contribute to and benefit from the digital world.

This blog post tells you a bit about the process for pulling the Blueprint together and outlines a few parts from our thinking to date to test with you.

How we’re bringing together the Blueprint

In pulling together the Blueprint, we drew heavily from international experience and a number of reports and papers from New Zealand, including:

We are also engaging with other government agencies, community organisations, iwi, hapū and individuals about what they’re doing, their experiences of exclusion and what has worked well for them.

Where possible, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to a writing the Blueprint and will take an evidence-based approach to framing the problem statements, current state and opportunities of digital inclusion. Here are a few bits of our thinking to date about the Blueprint itself we’d like to share with you and get your feedback on.

The vision

We want a high-level vision for digital inclusion that shows, in a nutshell, what a digitally included New Zealand would look like. Here is our current draft:

Our vision is that everyone in New Zealand has what they need to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the digital world.

The vision is intended to be high level, and supported by the detail in the Blueprint. We didn’t want to be too prescriptive, which recognises what people need to be included will likely vary between individuals.

The Four Dimensions of Digital Inclusion

When framing digital inclusion, we’ve broken it down it to four dimensions: access, skills, trust and motivation. These have been used in a number of other jurisdictions and reports. However, there’s a bit of inconsistency between what falls into each area. For the Blueprint, we’re proposing the high-level breakdown outlined below, to guide how we think about digital inclusion in a New Zealand context:

Access: Having access to digital devices, services, software, and content that meet our needs at a cost we can afford; and being able to connect to the internet where you work, live and play

Skills: Having the know-how to use the internet and digital technology in ways that are appropriate and beneficial for each of us

Trust: Trust in the internet and online services; and having the digital literacy to manage personal information and understand and avoid scams, harmful communication, and misleading information

Motivation: Understanding how the internet and digital technology can help us connect, learn, or access opportunities, and consequently having a meaningful purpose to engage with the digital world

Further work is underway at the moment to develop key measures for each of the four dimensions. My colleague, Nathan, will be blogging about this in more detail in the next week or so.

Please let us know what you think!

I’d really like to hear about whether you think the vision is on track, and if the framing of these four dimensions of digital inclusion makes sense to you (especially if you’ve used similar framing in the past).   Contact the team here

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  1. Laurence Zwimpfer 18/09/2018 3:57pm (10 months ago)

    "has what they need" is a rather clumsy phrase and better avoided. The vision should be an outcome statement -'having what they need' is a means to an end - the vision should declare the outcome required which surely is 'that everyone in New Zealand can participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the digital world'.

  2. Laurence Zwimpfer 18/09/2018 4:01pm (10 months ago)

    In terms of the four dimensions, your explanations are spot on. I just think 'motivation' should come first - this then creates a reason to seek access and a reason to gain the skills to engage. Trust is then critical in helping people stay engaged in the digital world.

    • Anna Pendergrast 24/10/2018 9:45am (9 months ago)

      Thanks for these comments, Lawrence and apologies for the belated reply!

  3. Kay Jones 19/09/2018 10:04pm (10 months ago)

    This was discussed in a disability issues group I belong to. Members of the group were disappointed
    (a) that there doesn't appear to be anyone with lived experience of disability in the group;
    (b) that material is used which describes disabilities as a deficit rather than a difference; and
    (c) that there isn't a clear process outlined for how lived experience will be incorporated in this design process.

    Different modes of communication could be thought of as well as formal written submissions. For example is there reference to NZSL Dictionary for language translations as well as English and Te Reo?

    Has the team reviewed the reports from the Office of Disability Issues project consulting with the disability community over NZ commitment to the UN Convention on Rights of Disabled Persons?

    • Anna Pendergrast 24/10/2018 9:49am (9 months ago)

      Hi Kay,

      Thanks very much for these comments, they are really helpful. My apologies for the delay to reply. I will make sure these are incorporated into the work we're doing.

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