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Welcome to our first monthly blog post on the Digital Inclusion Blueprint Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko — the New Zealand Government’s strategy for digital inclusion.

A lot has happened since we launched the Blueprint in May 2019.

We’ve published new research, created an outcomes framework, and welcomed a new Minister, Hon. Kris Faafoi, to the role of Government Digital Services.

We also attended our first event, Festival for the Future, which was a great opportunity to talk to young people about digital inclusion. Later this year, we’ll host our own event here in Wellington, which we hope you’ll attend — more on that next month.

The Blueprint is the first strategy of its kind for New Zealand. It’s our starting point, so there’s plenty still to do to make sure everyone has what they need to participate in, contribute to and benefit from the digital world.

Government, of course, has a major role to play to make sure New Zealanders are digitally included.

In this 2-minute video, I explain how we’re leading, connecting, supporting and delivering on the Blueprint.

> Video transcript

[Music]

[Image: The front cover of the New Zealand Government’s Digital Inclusion Blueprint document appears on screen.]

[Text on screen: The Digital Inclusion Blueprint: Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko]

[On Camera: Karl McDiarmid talking directly to camera]

[Text on screen: Karl McDiarmid, GM Service Innovation. Digital inclusion is about everyone having the opportunity to participate in society using digital technologies.]

[Music]

[On Camera. Image of New Zealand Government’s Digital Inclusion Blueprint document]

[Text on screen: The Digital Inclusion Blueprint: Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: In May, the Department of Internal Affairs released Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko, our Digital Inclusion Blueprint. It sets out New Zealand’s]

[On Camera. Image of a young woman writing a mathematical formula on a transparent board]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: vision as a country where everyone has the ability to participate in,

[On Camera. Image of a young male farmer and an older farmer in a farm paddock using a device to see and discuss data]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: contribute to and benefit from the digital world.]

[On Camera. Image of a speech bubble featuring the words: “Everyone participating in, contributing to and benefiting from the digital world]

[Music]

[Text on screen: Everyone participating in, contributing to and benefiting from the digital world]

[On Camera: Karl McDiarmid talking directly to camera]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: As General Manager of Service Innovation at the Department of Internal Affairs, I’m really proud of the Digital Inclusion Blueprint]

[On Camera: Image of Digital Inclusion Blueprint logo and words]

[Text on screen: The role of Government is to Lead, Connect, Support and Deliver]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: So what’s the role of government? Central government has a major role, which is why the Department]

[On Camera: Image of a sign on a building saying Te Tari Taiwhenua, Internal Affairs]

[Text on screen: Te Tari Taiwhenua, Internal Affairs.]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: of Internal Affairs is leading this work.]

[On Camera: Image of Digital Inclusion Blueprint logo and words]

[Text on screen: Lead.]

[Music]

[On Camera: A meeting room full of people watching a presenter]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: As government, it’s our role to lead by being the trusted subject matter experts in digital inclusion and by collaborating with others.]

[On Camera: A live scrolling screenshot of a government website called digital.govt.nz]

[Text on screen: Supporting Government’s digital transformation.]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: We also lead by example by making sure government’s digital content …]

[On Camera: An image of 3 young children looking at a computer screen smiling]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: is accessible, that online services can …]

[On Camera: An image of a young boy writing at a desk]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: be used by everyone and by collating …]

[On Camera: An image of a keyboard key saying: ‘Inclusion’]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: data to measure New Zealand’s progress towards digital inclusion.]

[On Camera: A live scrolling screenshot of a government website called digital.govt.nz]

[Text on screen: Digital Inclusion 2019 Action Plan – Building the foundations …]

[Music]

[On Camera: Image of the Digital Inclusion Blueprint logo and words]

[Text on screen: Connect.]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: We connect by raising the profile and telling people about the range …]

[On Camera: An image of people working collaboratively to make notes on a desk]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: of digital inclusion work underway across the country.]

[On Camera: Karl McDiarmid talking directly to camera]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: We connect people with funding, initiatives and the wider digital community.]

[On Camera: Image of the Digital Inclusion Blueprint logo and words]

[Text on screen: Support.]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: We support by providing support …]

[On Camera: Man presenting to a group]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: and information to the individuals and organisations working to address digital inclusion.]

[On Camera: Image of Digital Inclusion Blueprint logo and words]

[Text on screen: Deliver.]

[Music and voice over]

[Voice over captions on screen: We deliver by working with communities, agencies and the wider sector to solve problems.]

[On Camera: An image of children wearing virtual reality goggles]

[Music]

[On Camera: Image of the Department of Internal Affairs and New Zealand Government logos and words]

[Text on screen: Digital inclusion on digital.govt.nz]

[Music]

Digital inclusion and the outcomes we’re seeking

In April 2019, we published the Digital Inclusion Outcomes Framework setting out how New Zealand defines digital inclusion and the outcomes the government is seeking from the Digital Inclusion Blueprint.

According to the framework, digitally included people are motivated to be online and have access to digital devices, services, software and content at a cost they can afford, no matter where they are.

They have the range of skills they need to:

  • use the internet
  • communicate online
  • handle personal information
  • transact
  • problem solve, and
  • be safe online.

And crucially, they both trust online services and have the digital literacy they need to manage personal information and avoid harm online.

The framework breaks down the government outcomes for digital inclusion into 3 phases: short term, medium term and long term.

In the short term, our goal is to increase the number of New Zealanders with the motivation, skills, access and trust they need for digital inclusion. In the longer term, we want to use digital inclusion to improve the well-being of New Zealanders.

Read the outcomes framework

Who is doing what in digital inclusion?

New data about the range of digital inclusion initiatives run by community groups and government was published online in July 2019.

We published 2 stocktake reports to clarify who is doing what in digital inclusion.

The community stocktake called ‘What digital inclusion looks like in New Zealand communities’ identified a total of 151 digital inclusion initiatives throughout the country, with most (67%) focused on skill development.

Meanwhile, the government stocktake called ‘What digital inclusion looks like across government’ found about 41% of government initiatives addressed issues of access (such as connectivity, affordability and accessibility).

The stocktake reports aim to give people an idea of what initiatives are being undertaken within New Zealand and what they aim to address.

We hope they’ll also help people identify the gaps in what’s provided and begin to develop shared goals for digital inclusion.

Digital inclusion initiatives in New Zealand

Two initiatives referenced in the community stocktake report include:

  • SeniorNet — a community training network that supports and motivates seniors (people over the age of 50) to enjoy and use technology in their everyday lives
  • Manaiakalani — an education programme that (among other activities) supports parents to buy a personal digital device for each learner and provides wireless Internet access at home and school.

Meanwhile, initiatives referenced in the government stocktake include:

Why good evaluation practice matters

New findings on digital inclusion in New Zealand show as few as 20% of digital inclusion initiatives have been formally evaluated or will be evaluated in the future.

Research published online in July 2019 found a lack of evaluation is a barrier to working out which digital inclusion initiatives are working well, which initiatives need more funding and which initiatives are struggling to achieve outcomes and need improving.

We hope the research prompts organisations to evaluate their programmes, and use this evaluation and evidence to better fund or upscale successful initiatives.

Join the conversation

It’s great to have this work underway. I hope you’ll enjoy this monthly update and join us on the journey.

To keep up with — and take part in — the digital inclusion conversation:

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