International Aid Network

Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies. Access and use of information and communication technologies impacts individuals and the community as a whole. A digitally inclusive community is important to economic and workforce development, civic participation, education, healthcare, and public safety. Enhanced digital inclusion has many benefits such as:

  • The improvement of education and employment outcomes
  • Better health and well-being outcomes
  • Efficient spending by public service providers due to greater use of online information
  • A wider range of products available to consumers at lower prices.

Building a digitally inclusive community requires participation and support from all sectors: libraries, community based organizations, business, government and policy makers. Digital inclusion strategies vary widely.

The populations least likely to be online include:

  • the less educated (31.7% persons with education level lower than secondary school have a computer, while 88.8% of persons with higher education have a computer)*,
  • individuals with lower incomes (47,6% of households with income below 300 EUR owns a computer, versus 87,1% of households with income above 600 EUR),
  • unemployed (59,1% unemployed uses computer, versus 85,0% employed),
  • seniors (78,1% of persons older than 65 has never used Internet, versus 1,4% of the young aged 16 to 24),
  • Roma, women and persons with disabilities.

The most common reasons an individual would not be an internet user and/or have a home broadband service are cost (of the technology (38%) and/or the home broadband service (35%)), relevance (61%) and lack of digital skills (26%).

Since 2001 IAN Telecentar has been engaged in promoting digital inclusion, especially among the vulnerable groups (persons with disabilities, female victims of violence, single mothers, prisoners, and the unemployed).

During the previous years we have developed a comprehensive program of direct and indirect support to digital inclusion of the people in Serbia. Direct support includes a program with more than 40 IT courses, support to single mothers, women prisoners, youth with behaviour problems, persons with disabilities,  focused on developing office IT skills, than capacities of libraries, centres for social work, providing skills for e-participation, supporting seniors in basic IT training.

Indirect support to digital inclusion is realised through the annual Get Online Week campaign, development and promotion of media literacy, safe use of internet among kids, and organised workshops and international conferences promoting the importance of digital inclusion.

 

*All statistics are from the publication Use of information –communication technologies in the Republic of Serbia, 2014 (“Upotreba informaciono-komunikacionih tehnologija u Republici Srbiji, 2014.“)

IAN Telecentar
Djure Danicica 5 Street
11000 Belgrade, Serbia

tel. +38111 3229 732
fax. +38111 3225 993
e-mail: edu@ian.org.rs

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