National Plan for Digital Participation

Many of us now take the web and the opportunities it offers for granted.  To a greater or lesser extent we all derive some benefit from being online.  However, for 12.5 million people in the UK this is not the case.

The Digital Britain report identified the need for digital participation for these people and the important role it will play in their lives and society as a whole.  It made specific mention of a National Plan for Digital Participation (Digital Britain Report, Executive Summary, point 20 [p12]).

This week the government addressed that need by launching the National Plan for Digital Participation which offers a strategic framework for achieving the shared vision of helping…

… everyone who wants to be online to get online, do more online and benefit from the advantages of being online.
National Plan for Digital Participation, point 15 [p8])

Contributing to this plan and vision is the Digital Participation Consortium which includes government, industry, education and public/voluntary sector; and led by Ofcom.  Like most approaches the key is raising awareness of the potential benefits that are available so people can decide for themselves.  This can only be achieved through the collaboration of all the stakeholders involved.

The National Plan for Digital Participation is well worth a read if you feel you can contribute to this vision.  It is divided into the following sections:

  • Shared Vision
  • Identifying and addressing needs
  • Priority Groups
  • Driving Digital Participation
  • Achieving greater impact
  • Establishing the baselines
  • Timetable for further action

Many organisations are mentioned in the plan including EGSA [p27].

The Minister for Digital Britain, Stephen Timms, sums it up well:

Being online is crucial for participation in the 21st Century society – the Internet unlocks a wealth of information and services, giving people more choice in life and access to a range of education, health and financial opportunities.