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Digital Inclusion Research Agenda

Summary

This report sets out a research agenda to guide the government’s future priorities for digital inclusion research. We, the Department of Internal Affair's (DIA's) digital inclusion team, are seeking cross-agency buy-in to this agenda, with the intention it will:

  • inform future decisions on government support for digital inclusion research
  • provide confidence the research that is supported will generate timely and relevant evidence to inform key government decisions.

Purpose of research on digital inclusion

Research will be used to inform government decisions for effective action on digital inclusion. Research findings can inform decisions about:

  • the overall level of government support for digital inclusion
  • how to support digital inclusion
  • how to deliver digital inclusion initiatives.

Key research questions

The research agenda prioritises 6 key research questions for New Zealand research on digital inclusion.

The top priority questions are:

  1. 1. Which groups have a lower likelihood of being digitally included, and why?
  2. 2. How does digital inclusion relate to waiora/wellbeing?
  3. 3. What are Māori aspirations for digital inclusion, what is successful in meeting those aspirations and what opportunities are there to do better?

The medium priority questions are:

  1. 4. What works well to improve digital inclusion for different groups?
  2. 5. What is the economic cost-benefit of digital inclusion?

The lower priority question is:

  1. 6. What will we need in the future to maintain a digitally inclusive New Zealand?

Suggested next steps

Delivering on the research agenda will require cross-agency buy-in and collaboration. To do this, organisations with a stake in digital inclusion should take these steps:

  • Fund digital inclusion research via new funding or reprioritisation of existing funding.
  • Support projects that address the research questions, giving precedence to those that address the top priority questions.
  • Seek further research project ideas in addition to the research projects outlined in this research agenda.
  • Review the research priorities approximately every 2 years, as they may change.
  • Coordinate research with other relevant work, including digital inclusion outcomes measurement and evaluation, Te Whata Kōrero, and work on digital futures.

Vision and definition for digital inclusion in New Zealand

As set out by The Digital Inclusion Blueprint — Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko, our vision for digital inclusion in New Zealand is that all of us have what we need to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the digital world.

To achieve this vision, we need to clarify what it means to be digitally included. The Blueprint specifies that, in 2019, being digitally included means having convenient access to, and the ability to confidently use, the internet through devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets.

As described in the Blueprint, there are 4 interdependent elements which are all needed for a person to be digitally included: motivation, access, skills and trust.

Purpose of the research agenda

This research agenda will guide the government’s future priorities for digital inclusion research. Up to now, we have not had a New Zealand government consensus on priorities for digital inclusion research. By developing a research agenda and seeking cross-agency buy-in, we hope to put digital inclusion research on a more sustainable footing and to ensure that the research that is done is useful to, and used by, government.

We intend that the research agenda will:

  • inform future decisions on government support for digital inclusion research
  • provide confidence that the research that is supported will generate timely and relevant evidence to inform key government decisions.

How the research agenda was developed

The following steps were taken to develop this research agenda.

  1. 1. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) digital inclusion team's work and conversations with team members provided an initial understanding of what government decisions will require evidence and where the major gaps in evidence lie.
    Note: This work includes:
  1. 2. A draft research agenda was developed, and feedback was sought on it from government and non-government agencies and from researchers with interests in digital inclusion. They were asked to comment on:
    • the draft research questions
    • whether any important questions were missed
    • which questions should be the highest priority, and why.
  2. 3. There were discussions with New Zealand-based researchers about their current and planned digital inclusion-related research. This improved our knowledge of existing research and where the gaps in evidence remain.
  3. 4. The draft research agenda was revised, the research questions were amended in response to feedback, and recommendations were developed for next steps.

People who provided feedback

We are grateful to the following people who provided feedback on the initial draft of the research agenda:

  • Emma McDonald, Lizzie Jones, Kirk Mariner, Tiopira Piripi, Beth Rust, Nathan Schofield, Ben McIntosh — Digital inclusion team, DIA
  • Jasmin Chapman, Nathan Mountfort, Diana Solomon, Ryan Ammar — Policy, Regulation and Communities, DIA
  • Gopika Gnanakumar, Ann-Marie Cavanagh, Sarah Casey, Sonitha Aniruth, James Bolitho — Service and System Transformation, DIA
  • Nicola Brown, Seb Castro, Bridget Beale — InternetNZ
  • Charles Crothers, Antonio Díaz Andrade, Philippa Smith, Stanley Frielick, Hohepa Spooner, Claudio Aguayo — Auckland University of Technology
  • Ian MacDuff — University of Auckland
  • Stuart McNaughton — University of Auckland and Ministry of Education
  • Ravishankar Sharma — University of Canterbury
  • Peter Crampton — University of Otago
  • Barbara Craig — Victoria University of Wellington and the 20/20 Trust
  • Louise Starkey, Miriam Lips, Elizabeth Eppel — Victoria University of Wellington
  • Maggie Hartnett, Alison Kearney, Mandia Mentis, Lucila Carvalho, Roseanna Bourke, Jude MacArthur, Wendy Holley-Boen, Vijaya Dharan, Pania Te Maro, Philippa Butler, Nicola McDowell — Massey University
  • Margaret Wilkie — Independent researcher
  • Laurence Millar — 20/20 Trust
  • Laurence Zwimpfer — Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa
  • Moshika Chandra — Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Shirley Nesbit, James Liang — Ministry of Social Development
  • Eileen Duddy — Ministry of Health
  • Martin Hooper — Inland Revenue
  • Ann Bentley, Kara Scally-Irvine — Ministry of Education
  • Kathleen (Ata) Forrest, Anita van der Veer — Ministry for Pacific Peoples
  • Varshini Suresh — Te Puni Kōkiri

Relationship to the Digital Inclusion Outcomes Framework and the Digital Nation Domain Plan

The research agenda is different from, but relates to, 2 other pieces of published work:

The Digital Inclusion Outcomes Framework describes how we will measure digital inclusion and its benefits to New Zealand. It defines the digital inclusion outcomes that are important to measure for New Zealand as a whole, and it proposes indicators that can track progress against these outcomes. The indicators will tell us how many people in New Zealand are digitally included and how many people are experiencing issues with motivation, access, skills or trust.

The Digital Nation Domain Plan sets out the main priorities for government data collection relating to New Zealand’s digital transformation. It identifies digital inclusion as a priority and makes recommendations for addressing gaps in available data.

Both documents recommend improvements to New Zealand’s digital inclusion data collection and measurement. In contrast, the research specified by the research agenda will delve more into the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of digital inclusion. This research will benefit greatly from improvements in data and measurement, but it will go further, investigating specific issues, looking in-depth at differences between groups, changes over time, and why we see certain patterns. The research may use quantitative and qualitative methods. It may make use of existing information and data, and collect new data as needed.

The proposed research agenda

Purpose of 2019–22 research on digital inclusion

Research will be used to inform government decisions for effective action on digital inclusion.

The main types of decisions that research findings can influence are below.

Government funding of digital inclusion research should require that the research has the potential to inform one or more of these decisions.

Inform decisions about the overall level of government support for digital inclusion

Research findings will help government decide:

  • how strong the case is for government support of digital inclusion as a whole
  • how much government support is justified.

Inform decisions about how to support digital inclusion

Research findings will help government decide:

  • what type of support to provide (types of support could include funding or grants, policy or legislative changes, or new or improved government services)
  • how to prioritise support among different types of digital inclusion initiatives (considering which are the most needed and the most likely to be effective).

Inform decisions about how to deliver digital inclusion initiatives

Research findings will help government and non-government providers of digital inclusion initiatives to decide how to deliver initiatives more effectively.

Key research questions and links to the research purposes

The key research questions that we would like New Zealand research on digital inclusion to address are:

1. Which groups have a lower likelihood of being digitally included, and why?

a. What groups of people in New Zealand (based on demographics and life circumstances) have a lower likelihood of being digitally included?
Note: Based on New Zealand and overseas research, the Pulse of the Nation report identified the following groups as the least likely to be digitally included:

  • seniors
  • families with children in low socio-economic communities
  • people living in rural communities
  • people with disabilities
  • migrants and refugees with English as a second language, and
  • Māori and Pasifika youth.

The report also stated that “…there is no robust data about the numbers of people who are actually digitally excluded in any particular disadvantaged group; all that is known is that the proportion of digitally excluded people in each group is likely to be somewhat higher than the national average.” These groups will form a useful starting point for the analysis specified in research question 1a. but we expect this analysis to provide more detail, better quantification, and (potentially) identification of additional groups at risk.

b. Which elements of digital inclusion (motivation, access, skills or trust) are lacking for the groups that have a lower likelihood of being digitally included?

c. What are the barriers to, and enablers of, digital inclusion for people in these groups?

  • Motivation: what factors motivate or demotivate people to use the internet?
  • Access: what factors influence connectivity, affordability and accessibility for people in these groups?
  • Skills: what factors help or hinder people’s development of skills in using the internet and digital technology in ways that are appropriate and beneficial?
  • Trust: what factors support trust, and what factors (such as risks of internet-related harm) reduce trust and need to be addressed?
  • Other: what other factors form barriers to or enablers of digital inclusion for people in these groups?

Findings from addressing question 1 may inform decisions about:

2. How does digital inclusion relate to waiora/wellbeing?

a. Is there an association between being digitally included and personal wellbeing?

  • How strong is the association between digital inclusion and personal wellbeing?
  • Is there evidence for a causal relationship between digital inclusion and personal wellbeing? That is, to what extent does digital inclusion influence wellbeing, or wellbeing influence digital inclusion?
  • Does the strength of the association between digital inclusion and personal wellbeing differ across groups with different demographics and life circumstances?

b. In what ways (positive and negative) does digital inclusion influence waiora/wellbeing?

  • How does digital inclusion influence people’s access to health and social services?
  • How does digital inclusion influence aspects of people’s everyday lives, such as jobs and earnings, civic engagement, family and social connections, cultural identity, knowledge and skills, health, safety and subjective wellbeing?
    Note: These aspects draw from the ‘Our country’ section of The Treasury's Living Standards Framework.

How does digital inclusion influence community and society-wide wellbeing (for example, via effects on social participation and cohesiveness, local economic activity and access to amenities)?
Note: This will include looking at the community- and society-level impacts of more people becoming digitally included and it may draw on existing work such as the 4 capitals in the ‘Our future’ section of The Treasury's Living Standards Framework and the 4 foundations in He Ara Waiora.

Findings from addressing question 2 may inform decisions about:

 

3. What are Māori aspirations for digital inclusion, what is successful in meeting those aspirations and what opportunities are there to do better?

Note: These research questions are in draft and may be revised in response to feedback from the Māori leaders engaged as part of Te Whata Kōrero. One clear aspect is the research that addresses this question will use a kaupapa Māori approach. This is described later in the research agenda.

a. What are Māori aspirations for digital inclusion?

b. What is successful in supporting digital inclusion for Māori?

c. What roles should various parties have in supporting digital inclusion for Māori?

  • What roles should iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori organisations have?
  • What role should government have?

d. To what extent do Māori have the motivation, access, skills and trust to be digitally included?

  • In relation to trust, to what extent do Māori trust government with the tino rangatiratanga of Māori data?

e. To what extent does digital inclusion contribute to Māori wellbeing, including hauora and oranga?

4. What works well to improve digital inclusion for different groups?

a. For groups with a lower likelihood of being digitally included, what does the evidence tell us about what types of initiatives work best under different circumstances?

b. What does the evidence tell us about how to effectively deliver digital inclusion initiatives (for example, what types of operational processes, organisational structures, resources and support, work well under different circumstances)?

c. Are there new or innovative approaches that could be tried?

Findings from addressing question 4 may inform decisions about:

5. What is the economic cost-benefit of digital inclusion?

a. What are the economic costs of New Zealand’s current level of digital exclusion?

b. What would be the overall cost of ensuring that everyone in New Zealand has the opportunity to be digitally included?

c. What would be the return on investment on ensuring that everyone in New Zealand has the opportunity to be digitally included, and how would these returns be distributed across individuals, businesses and government?

Findings from addressing question 5 may inform decisions about:

6. What will we need in future to maintain a digitally inclusive New Zealand?

a. What barriers to digital inclusion (technological, social, economic or other) might people in New Zealand face in future?

a. How could we enable people in New Zealand to remain digitally included in future?

b. How could we enable people in New Zealand to benefit from and avoid harm from digital technologies in future?

Findings from addressing question 6 may inform decisions about:

Prioritisation of the research questions

The following main themes emerged from the feedback on which research questions are the highest priority, and why.

  • All of the research questions are important, but question 6 was thought by a number of people to be less important and urgent than the others.
  • Questions 1 and 2 were the most frequently prioritised for urgent work with 18 and 16 people, respectively, placing them among their top 2 priorities.
  • Question 3 was thought to be important, with 9 people placing it within their top 2 priorities. When we requested feedback, this question was a placeholder while we waited for direction from the Māori leaders engaged in Te Whata Kōrero. Some people who provided feedback said that this question was important but did not place it within their top 2 priorities because it was awaiting further direction. This direction has now been received and question 3 has been revised (but is still in draft).

Therefore, the top 3 priorities are questions 1, 2 and 3, followed by questions 4 and 5, and then question 6. While some consensus emerged that questions 1, 2 and 3 are the most urgent priorities, this was not a unanimous view.

Summary of the main arguments for and against prioritising each question

Top priority

1. Which groups have a lower likelihood of being digitally included, and why?

Arguments for prioritisation:

  • Current information on which groups are not digitally included is not robust enough to support good decisions.
  • Will directly support action by showing us how to distribute digital inclusion investment.
  • Will underpin the rest of the research specified by the research agenda.
  • Understanding the barriers to digital inclusion is an essential for improving New Zealand’s overall levels of digital inclusion.

Arguments against prioritisation in the short term:

We already have an indication of which groups are less likely to be digitally included, and this indication is good enough for now.

2. How does digital inclusion relate to waiora/wellbeing?

Arguments for prioritisation:

  • Will help us understand the impact of digital inclusion and justify investment in it.
  • Will help us understand the human context of digital inclusion, rather than artificially separating digital from other aspects of life.
  • Wellbeing is a political priority at the time of writing.

Arguments against prioritisation in the short term:

  • We should restrict research that aims to justify spending on digital inclusion to the bare minimum and instead focus effort on spending that money well.
  • While this is an important question, we will still take action if we do not have an answer.
  • It’s hard to address this question with rigour, so we should do it later, armed with helpful findings from other research.

3. What are Māori aspirations for digital inclusion, what is successful in meeting those aspirations and what opportunities are there to do better?

Arguments for prioritisation:

  • Little is currently known about Māori aspects of digital inclusion and this is a large and persistent gap in the research.
  • Māori aspects are unique to New Zealand and international research doesn’t provide insights into them.
  • It’s important to support Te Whata Kōrero with research.
  • It’s important to understand what works for Māori because what works for Māori often works for others and we will amplify disparities if we wrongly assume that initiatives designed by and for non-Māori will work for Māori.

Arguments against prioritisation in the short term:

Important, but needs to wait for a steer from Te Whata Kōrero on where it should focus.

Medium priority

4. What works well to improve digital inclusion for different groups?

Arguments for prioritisation:

  • Will help us understand what initiatives should be invested in.
  • Could inform a budget bid in 2020 for funding digital inclusion initiatives.
  • Findings can inform action by government and non-government organisations.

Arguments against prioritisation in the short term:

  • If this research requires new data collection, it will not be achievable in time to inform a 2020 budget bid. However, research drawing on existing data and publications would be achievable.
  • It may be more logical for this research to follow research done under question 1 so that it can be informed by those findings.
  • We already know of initiatives that work and we should invest in them instead of creating new initiatives.

5. What is the economic cost-benefit of digital inclusion?

Arguments for prioritisation:

  • Will future-proof digital inclusion in case political priorities shift towards more of a focus on economic benefit.
  • Cost-benefit studies in the United Kingdom have helped to keep digital inclusion on the agenda there. New Zealand could benefit from the same.
  • Could inform a budget bid in 2020 to continue government involvement in digital inclusion.

Arguments against prioritisation in the short term:

  • We should restrict research that aims to justify spending on digital inclusion to the bare minimum and instead focus effort on spending that money well.
  • Requires new data collection and will not be achievable in time to inform a 2020 budget bid.
  • It may be more logical for this research to follow research done under question 1 so that it can be informed by those findings.
  • Nice to know but up until now we have managed without it.
  • Digital inclusion should be prioritised because it's the right thing to do, not because of economic benefits.

Low priority

6. What will we need in future to maintain a digitally inclusive New Zealand?

Arguments for prioritisation:

  • Important for future-proofing government work on digital inclusion.
  • Important for the education system because children need to be equipped with the resilience to benefit, and avoid harm, from digital technologies in future.

Arguments against prioritisation in the short term:

  • Can be delayed as it will be informed by answers to the other research questions.
  • May not be necessary because digital inclusion may be self-perpetuating.
  • We must first create a digitally inclusive New Zealand without diverting resources to speculation about the future.

Initial suggestions for research projects and methods

Answering the research questions will require several research projects using a range of methods and designs. The section ‘Possible research projects’ outlines 10 such projects. The following key points should be noted in relation to research projects and methods.

  • Question 1 and question 2 can be addressed by the same projects. Although they’re distinct questions, the same methods can be used to answer them, including surveys, qualitative research and interrogation of published literature and existing data. It would be inefficient to do this separately, for example, by running 2 surveys that target the same respondents.
  • While there is some overlap between question 3 and other research questions, a key difference is that the question 3 research will use a kaupapa Māori approach. It will be conceived, developed and carried out by Māori, situated within a Māori worldview and aim to benefit Māori. This is appropriate in the context of Te Whata Kōrero, which is itself Māori-led. A kaupapa Māori approach will maintain Māori control of the research.
  • Through our discussions with researchers we found out about some relevant, currently underway New Zealand research. This research is mentioned in the section Possible research projects (below) where relevant. Despite this existing research effort, substantial gaps remain in our national research and data on digital inclusion. For most of the research questions, resources are needed to get new research projects underway.

See Suggested next steps.

Possible research projects

The following 10 possible research projects would go a long way towards answering the research questions, but they are not the only possible approaches. Further work should scope these projects more fully as well as exploring other potential projects that emerge.

1. Analyse existing data for associations between internet connectivity or internet use and demographics, life circumstances, and personal wellbeing

This project will look at whether existing data shows associations between digital inclusion-related indicators (such as the presence of a household internet connection) and indicators of demographic factors, life circumstances, and wellbeing.

This project addresses the top priority questions 1a, 2a, 3e.

Advantages of this approach

  • Can be done quickly using existing data.
  • Will pave the way for further, more detailed research.
  • Will clarify where the gaps are in our existing data.

Difficulties with this approach

  • Most existing data sources do not measure digital inclusion specifically and measures of household internet connections are an imprecise proxy.
  • Will not demonstrate whether or how digital inclusion causes changes in wellbeing. However, the NZ Election Survey includes a subset of respondents who have been surveyed more than once, which may make it possible to look at changes in their responses over time and whether shifts in digital inclusion have preceded or come after changes in wellbeing.

Status

This project is underway, commissioned by DIA.

Data sources

  • Census 2013
  • NZ Election Study
  • NZ Crime & Victims Survey
  • geographical internet access data
  • World Internet Project NZ (WIPNZ) survey
  • investigation of other sources.

2. Collect and analyse new data on digital inclusion collected through the General Social Survey (GSS)

This project will look at associations between digital inclusion and the demographic, life circumstances, and personal wellbeing indicators that are collected in the GSS.

This project addresses the top priority questions 1a2a3e.

Advantages of this approach

  • The GSS’s face-to-face surveying and robust sampling method will reach people who are not digitally included.
  • The GSS collects high quality nationally representative data on wellbeing.
  • A new GSS question on digital technology use can be developed to fit the definition of digital inclusion.

Difficulties with this approach

  • Long lead time; findings are 2 or more years away.
  • Will not demonstrate whether or how digital inclusion causes changes in wellbeing.
  • The GSS can only accommodate up to 1or 2 new questions, so it will not gather detail on how and why people are digitally included.

Status

DIA is in discussion with StatsNZ about adding a question on digital inclusion to the GSS.

Data sources

GSS (in 2020 or possibly much later).

3. Stand-alone survey on digital inclusion, demographics, life circumstances and personal wellbeing

This project will develop a stand-alone survey so that its sampling method reaches digitally excluded people and its questions fit the definition of digital inclusion. It will shed light on the extent of digital inclusion in New Zealand and the links between digital inclusion, demographic factors, life circumstances and wellbeing.

This project addresses the:

  • top priority questions 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a
  • aspects of the top priority questions 2b, 3d, 3e, and
  • data may support the medium priority questions 5a, 5b, 5c.

Advantages of this approach

  • Can collect detail on how and why people are digitally included.
  • Can use sampling and survey delivery methods that will reach people who are not digitally included.

Difficulties with this approach

  • More expensive than using existing data or adding to existing surveys.
  • Increasing the number of surveys carried out in New Zealand contributes to respondent burden.

Status

  • Not currently underway.

Data sources

Either adapt WIPNZ survey so that it is better able to reach digitally excluded people. Or develop a new survey (in 2020 or later).

4. Literature reviews on barriers to and enablers of digital inclusion and how digital inclusion influences waiora/wellbeing

This project can produce either 1 or 2 literature reviews. The review/s will describe current knowledge about what helps and hinders digital inclusion and how digital inclusion influences personal and community/society-wide wairoa/wellbeing.

This project addresses the top priority questions 1b, 1c2a, 2b.

Advantages of this approach

  • Can be done quickly using published research.
  • Will assist development of survey questions by improving our understanding of barriers to and enablers of digital inclusion and links with wellbeing.

Difficulties with this approach

  • Some groups, such as Māori, are less well represented in the existing published research.

Status

Data sources

Published New Zealand and international research and evaluation literature.

5. Qualitative research with groups who are less likely to be digitally included

This project will use qualitative methods to investigate:

  • barriers to and enablers of digital inclusion
  • ways that digital inclusion can influence personal and societal waiora/wellbeing.

This project addresses the top priority questions 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, possibly 3d, 3e.

Advantages of this approach

  • Can generate a rich picture of the things that influence digital inclusion and the things that digital inclusion influences.
  • Can generate an in-depth understanding of how things differ across groups and circumstances.

Difficulties with this approach

  • Findings may be specific to each group and it will take time to do this research with all the groups of interest.
  • The findings will provide insights into causal pathways but will not quantify how much influence:
    • demographics and life circumstances have on digital inclusion
    • digital inclusion has on wellbeing.

Status

  • Researchers at Victoria University of Wellington are carrying out a research project in this area.
  • DIA has not commissioned this research.

Data sources

No existing data. Requires primary research using qualitative methods.

6. Longitudinal analysis of wellbeing changes among participants in digital inclusion initiatives as compared to non-participants

This project will use a quasi-experimental design to investigate the extent to which becoming digitally included can influence personal wellbeing. If data on participants in large digital inclusion initiatives can be linked with data in national statistical collections, this could enable extraction of:

  • aggregate data on participants’ wellbeing indicators before and after participation in the initiatives
  • the same aggregate data on a ‘matched’ comparison group of people who didn’t participate in the initiatives.

Changes in personal wellbeing would be compared across the 2 groups and the differences between the participant and comparison groups would be attributed to becoming digitally included (assuming the success of the initiative).

This project addresses the:

  • top priority questions 2a, possibly 3e
  • medium priority question 4a.

Advantages of this approach

  • Could generate a quantitative estimate of the extent to which digital inclusion causes changes in wellbeing (with some caveats).
  • National statistics may provide insights into longer term associations between digital inclusion and wellbeing.

Difficulties with this approach

  • Many logistical challenges may make this approach impossible. It will take time to ascertain feasibility, address ethical concerns and develop robust methods.
  • Attributing changes in wellbeing to changes in participants’ digital inclusion status requires us to assume that the initiative was successful in improving digital inclusion. This assumption will need to be tested for each initiative.
  • There may be unmeasured differences between the initiative participants and the comparison group, which may bias results.

Status

  • Not currently underway.

Data sources

  • digital inclusion initiative participant data
  • national census
  • tax, education and health datasets.

7. Kaupapa Māori research to canvas wider Māori opinion on digital inclusion aspirations, successes and opportunities

This project will support Te Whata Kōrero by gathering wider Māori perspectives on aspirations for digital inclusion, things that are successful in supporting those aspirations and opportunities to do better. The research methods are to be decided, but a key feature is that this will be kaupapa Māori research; it will be conceived, developed and carried out by Māori, situated within a Māori worldview, and of benefit to Māori. 

Note: There is a large body of literature describing kaupapa Māori research and an introduction to this field can be found at the Rangahau website.

This project addresses the:

Status

The research questions that this project will address are being refined as Te Whata Kōrero progresses. Further scoping will follow on from that.

Data sources

No existing data. Requires primary research using methods that are led by and appropriate for Māori.

8. Review the evidence on what is effective in reaching non-digitally included groups and improving digital inclusion

This project will synthesise what is known about what works to improve digital inclusion by:

  • reviewing the findings of New Zealand and overseas evaluations of digital inclusion initiatives
  • reviewing research and evaluation findings on effective practices with groups who are less likely to be digitally included
  • interviewing key informants with expertise on this topic.

This will improve our understanding of what works well and what new approaches might be tried to improve digital inclusion.

This project addresses:

  • the medium priority questions 4a, 4b, 4c
  • possibly aspects of the top priority question 3b.

Advantages of this approach

Can be done reasonably quickly using published literature supplemented by interviews.

Difficulties with this approach

The review will need to take account of the wide variety of different types of digital inclusion initiatives, acknowledging that different approaches meet different needs.

Status

Not currently underway.

Data sources

Published New Zealand and international research and evaluation literature, plus interviews with key people.

9. Cost-benefit analysis of the economic impact of digital inclusion in New Zealand

This project will compare the economic costs and benefits of New Zealand’s current level of digital exclusion with the costs and benefits of ensuring that everyone in New Zealand has the opportunity to be digitally included. It will estimate the return on investment in digital inclusion-promoting activities. Various methods are possible and this project could draw on the method that was used in a study of the economic impact of digital inclusion in the United Kingdom.

This project addresses the medium priority questions 5a, 5b, 5c.

Advantages of this approach

Will help to justify spending on digital inclusion by providing a quantitative estimate of impact.

Difficulties with this approach

  • Requires detailed and accurate data on the extent of digital exclusion in New Zealand and this data is not currently available.
  • Highly technical work which is likely to be expensive to do well.

Status

Not currently underway.

Data sources

New survey or WIPNZ survey adapted to better reach digitally excluded people.

10. Foresight project to investigate what we will need in future to maintain a digitally inclusive New Zealand

This project will use foresight methods to investigate future barriers to digital inclusion in New Zealand, potential ways to help people to remain digitally included, and get benefit, and avoid harm, from digital technologies.

This project addresses the low priority questions 6a, 6b, 6c.

Advantages of this approach

Will alert us to potential needs for policy and service delivery changes.

Difficulties with this approach

  • More advanced foresight practices can take time and resources to do well.
  • Rather than a stand-alone project, it may be better to incorporate this into a broader work programme on the future of digital government.

Data sources

To be determined.

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