Building Digital Communities: Framework (a project of IMLS) provides the guidance and structure for increasing digital inclusion. I was tasked with supporting and documenting local leadership teams in 9 communities who are figuring out how to increase access and use to information technology. Each pilot community has defined a local leadership team representing the public library, local government, and a community-based organization.
The 5 steps are intended to create a community-wide strategy to creating a digitally inclusive community. That means all sectors must be involved. Aligning everyone’s interests will not happen quickly.The first two steps in the Building Digital Communities: Framework are to convene stakeholders and develop a shared community understanding of digital inclusion. An important finding from our work with the pilot cities is that the first step is complicated. Who are the stakeholders? How do we get them to participate? What do we want them to do?
In order to help the pilot cities make significant progress, we’ve partnered with the Univ of IL Center for Digital Inclusion and Waymark Systems. We’re focusing efforts on two cities while fully documenting our progress.
Waymark Systems is an in-development company led by professors from the University of Illinois. Their expertise with aligning stakeholder interests is guiding our work building digitally inclusive communities.
We began with Dodge City, Kansas.
Define potential stakeholders. – We were given stakeholder worksheets to complete with stakeholder sectors to help us identify who should be invited to the initial meetings and to complete the survey. The 3 of us then split up the list and personally contacted EVERYONE.Develop stakeholder alignment survey instrument and data collection strategy. – This was done by our national partners OCLC, the University of IL Center for Digital Inclusion and Waymark Systems. We reviewed and provided feedback on the agenda for the initial meetings and the survey.Collect quantitative and qualitative data from a representative sample of stakeholders. – This occurred at the initial meetings (which we held 4 of to accommodate schedules). Those who could not attend have been encouraged to complete the online survey.
4. Present data to foster development of a shared vision of success and an action plan. – This begins on May 17.5.Ongoing support of the local leadership team and working groups. – This is the promise from our national partners to support our efforts as Dodge City defines projects and action plans.
Table Discussions and report back.
The stakeholder alignment survey is still open but I’m going to share some preliminary data to give you an idea of what we are gathering. Despite the small text, this slide shows the digital inclusion work in Dodge City has greatest representation from non-profits and the community college. It also shows we are most in need of more representation from community residents and health care providers. Our local team is working on finding those folks.
Another quick glance at the preliminary data shows us which issues are identified as being very important (around that 8.0 mark) and which are close to adequate (maybe an easy win?) and which are very inadequate (will be more difficult but will have more impact).The largest gaps between importance and adequacy are coordination among community organizations and access to government services. This fits with what we heard during the initial stakeholder meetings.
K-12 has the highest marks for importance and the highest marks for adequacy. We expect this is partially due to the local schools plans to provide a tablet to every student.
Table discussions. These are some of the questions we ask at the initial stakeholder meetings.
The ability of individuals andgroups to access and useinformation and communicationtechnologies.Digital Inclusion
Building Digital CommunitiesEvaluate and Revise the PlanImplement the PlanCreate a Community Action PlanDevelop a Shared Community Understanding of Digital InclusionConvene Stakeholders
National Partners• OCLC• Waymark Systems• University of IllinoisCenter for Digital Inclusion at theGraduate School of Library andInformation Science
Definition of Stakeholder Alignment“The extent to whichinterdependent stakeholdersorient and connect with oneanother to advance their separateand shared interests.”
Local Leadership Team• Cathy Reeves, Dodge City PublicLibrary, Director• Jane Longmeyer, City of Dodge City,Public Relations• Greta Clark, Dodge City CommunityCollege, Professor and Director ofMulticultural Education
Stakeholder Alignment1. Define potential stakeholders.1. Develop stakeholder alignment surveyinstrument and data collection strategy.1. Collect quantitative and qualitative data froma representative sample of stakeholders.
Stakeholder Alignment4. Present data to foster development of ashared vision of success and an action plan.4. Ongoing support of the local leadership teamand working groups.
Digital Inclusion Stakeholders• What sectors are missing fromthis list?• For which sectors will it be mostdifficult to identify arepresentative?• Potential strategies for thedifficult sectors.
Specify StakeholdersLocal City, County, and Tribal Govt (general) 6.2%Public Agencies (general) 6.2%Library Staff/Leadership 9.2%K-12 School Educator/Administrator 7.75Higher Ed, Community College Educator/Administrator 12.3%Higher Education, University Educator/Administrator 4.6%Economic Development Agency Staff/Leadership 3.1%Community Center Staff/Leadership 1.5%Public Housing Agency Staff/Leadership 3.1%Regulatory Govt Agency Staff/Leadership 1.5%Other Public Agency Staff/Leadership 3.1%Not-for-profit Community-Based Organization (general) 15.4%Not-for-profit Religious Leader 1.5%Not-for-profit Serving People with Disabilities 1.5%Other Not-for-profit 4.6%Business (general) 1.5%Broadband Service Provider 3.1%Chambers of Commerce and Other Business Groups 4.6%Other Business Organization Staff/Leadership 3.1%Local Media (TV, Radio, Newspaper) 3.1%Health Care Provider 1.5%Community Residents (general) 1.5%
Dodge City Preliminary Data0.001.002.003.004.005.006.007.008.009.00Coordination amongcommunityorganizationsWorkforce training Sharing medicalrecordsPublic access tomedical informationAccess to governmentservicesImportance AdequacyCaution: Preliminary Data
Dodge City Preliminary Data0.001.002.003.004.005.006.007.008.009.00Access tovolunteerisminformationIntergenerationalsupportDigital media Digital literacy in K-12 Enabling digitalbusinessImportance AdequacyCaution: Preliminary Data
SuccessWhat would have changed in yourcity if you are successful atincreasing access and use ofinformation technology? Whatwould digital inclusion success looklike in your city?