Not–Equal worked with VONNE and Newcastle University’s Open Lab on a series of workshops for the region’s VCSE community to explore digital inclusion and gain insight into what policy makers, funders, and technologists can do to support it.
The workshops were run by Adam Parnaby, PhD researcher at Open Lab, and a number of recommendations were drawn out focusing on three main themes.
Policymakers and funders should recognize the complexity of doing digital inclusion work ‘on the ground’, and that addressing digital poverty in a sustainable and effective manner requires a long-term view of funding and commissioning.
Funders and commissioners should wherever possible foster a collaborative eco-system of digital inclusion practitioners. Work should be undertaken to cultivate an environment in which many organisations can collaborate closely to address different aspects of digital poverty in a particular locality.
VCSE sector practitioners and technologists should be supported to engage with one another to develop guidance around the development of technology which is as accessible as possible to those experiencing digital poverty. These issues won’t be resolved quickly, or without significant regional and national investment, but the findings of this work will be fed into future regional research and VONNE’s projects supporting the VCSE sector with digital.