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Sustaining Digital Inclusion May 2014


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Solutions to reducing gaps in digital literacy, broadband access and technology use started at the grassroots level. Having been through two federal programs in the United States, we now have top down attention and approaches being created. We learned from BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) the necessity of working through trusted organizations and individuals to increase information technology skills and home broadband adoption. Local approach is essential.

Institutionalizing digital inclusion brings necessary attention and funding. Seattle and Minneapolis have staff dedicated to leading and coordinating digital inclusion efforts. Austin and Chicago are investing local resources in digital inclusion. The Google Fiber being deployed in Kansas City has resulted in funding and community collaborations focused upon making sure all residents benefit from the high-speed network in Kansas City. One of Broadband Rhode Island’s strategies has been to integrate digital inclusion into existing programs and initiatives. They have successfully had broadband data included in an open data warehouse, digital literacy included in the state’s adult education program, and broadband infrastructure and adoption data included in a statewide planning process.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Sustaining Digital Inclusion May 2014

  1. 1. Integrating Digital Inclusion, Dissolving Silos ICA Digital Divide Preconference: Communication and "The Good Life” May 22, 2014
  2. 2. Angela Siefer Senior Research Associate, Center for Digital Inclusion @angelasiefer
  3. 3. Digital Inclusion Definition "Digital inclusion is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies." From “Building DigitalCommunities: A Framework for Action”, 2011
  4. 4. City sponsored: Seattle Minneapolis Austin Chicago Philadelphia Public Statements x x x x Access & Use Surveys x x x University of IL at Chicago x Staff x x x Dedicated Digital Inclusion Funding x x x x Involvement in City- wide Digital Inclusion Network x x x x
  5. 5. • 1995 - CitizensTelecommunications andTechnology Advisory Board created. • 1996 - Staff position created. Community Technology Program now has 4 full-time staff. • 1996 - Funding established. • 2000 - Survey conducted approximately every 4 years. City of Seattle
  6. 6. • 2004 - 4 local organizations partner on an AmeriCorps grant to utilize community tech resources. • 2006 -Technology Literacy Collaborative created. • 2007 - Funding established. • 2010 - Staff position created. • 2012 - Survey conducted annually. City of Minneapolis
  7. 7. • 2006 – Mayor’s Advisory Council on Closing the Digital Divide was created. • 2009 – Community technology planning process conducted in 5 neighborhoods. • 2010 – BTOP SBA award. • 2013 – City of ChicagoTechnology Plan released. City of Chicago
  8. 8. • 1995 - Austin FreeNet support begins. • 2011 - Survey conducted. • 2013 - Austin City Council approved $200,000 for community technology and $50,000 to conduct a residential survey. City of Austin
  9. 9. • 2010 - NTIA awards two BTOP grants in Philadelphia. • 2010 - Office of Innovation andTechnology is created. • 2011 - City hires a Chief Innovation Officer. • 2013 - Funding established for internal and external Keyspots. • 2013 - Survey conducted.Will be released 2014. City of Philadelphia
  10. 10. Internal External Academy of Municipal Innovation Innovation Lab Innovation Fund City of Philadelphia Components of Innovation CivicApps Open Data Digital Inclusion
  11. 11. “Among the KEYSPOTS partners, there is no single organization that ‘owns’ digital inclusion. Digital inclusion is something that everyone can, and should, collectively own in Philadelphia.” Ashley Del Bianco, Program Manager, Office of Innovation andTechnology, City of Philadelphia
  12. 12. City sponsored: 1. Stakeholder engagement that results in public statements of digital inclusion goals and strategies 2. Information technology access & use surveys. 3. Staff dedicated to digital inclusion. 4. Dedicated digital inclusion funding. 5. Involvement in a city-wide digital inclusion network.
  13. 13. The city’s involvement does the following: • Increases the likelihood that digital inclusion issues will be integrated into other city departments and community-based efforts. • Reduces the possibility that the digital inclusion efforts could become a political casualty. • Increases potential for a reliable source of funding. • Helps ensure that investments from all sectors are coordinated and strategic.