Digital Participation programme is rescoped!

The Digital Participation programme led by Ofcom has been rescoped by the government as part of the public expenditure review. The limited funding that was available will be focused on supporting the activities of the campaign led by the UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox.

Sadly this will have an impact on many funding applications to help people get online, but the hope is that everyone will continue their support through the Race Online 2012 campaign.

Ofcom have stated:

Ofcom hopes Digital Participation Consortium members will continue to build on the achievements of the Consortium by continuing to work together to help people get online and would encourage members to sign up as a Race Online 2012 partner or advocate. All future communications and partner work in this area will be taken forward by the Champion and her team with the support of Cabinet Office.
Source: Ofcom Media Literacy Bulletin Issue 34

Relevant links:

UK’s Digital Inclusion Champion: Martha Lane Fox

Martha Lane Fox is the UK Government’s Digital Inclusion Champion and has been tasked with getting as many of the 17 million people who are not online to use the internet by the time of the Olympics in 2012.  She is especially interested on focusing on the 6 million who cannot afford internet access.

She hopes to achieve this by encouraging people to help others get online and through drawing on public and private schemes already up and running around the UK.

In a recent blog post entitled ‘My mission – Digital Inclusion‘ she has stated:

“Most of us strive to live in a more equal society and I strongly believe that digital skills are now part of creating equality.”

“With good peer to peer training and mentoring and with more mainstream stories of the transformative effects of technology that help to bring the computer alive I think the UK has the chance to become a real digital leader and close the dangerous digital divide once and for all.”

Referring to the 17m people in the UK  who are not online and of those the 6m who are socially and economically vulnerable she believes:

“… that by not taking action to help this group learn about the web, we are rapidly creating a sub class of people who are unable to have the same choices in their lives as those who are web literate.”

You can follow her progress at these online spaces:

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