Creating a regional agency to foster einclusion: the case of South Yorkshire, UK

Wessels, B. (2008) Creating a regional agency to foster einclusion: the case of South Yorkshire, UK. European Journal of ePractice, 3, pp. 1-11.

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The focus within regions in Europe, in line with the Riga Ministerial Declaration (2006), is to foster eInclusion by providing access for all, building e-skills and e-literacy, providing broadband infrastructures and inclusive eGovernment. Regional partnerships are emerging as agents in creating innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) for eInclusion in relation to local needs, contexts and aspirations. The British region of South Yorkshire is a microcosm of barriers to eInclusion, with many of its citizens having low levels of ICT access, which interacts with factors such as older age, unemployment and low levels of education to produce risks of a digital divide building on existing inequalities. The case of South Yorkshire shows how a regional partnership seeks to build ICT capacity from low levels of ICT knowledge in the community. It aims to achieve this through outreach teams that educate individuals to use ICT in their homes or in various community-based locations supported structurally by a social delivery model. Its innovative approach links community facilities and actors to foster eInclusion within the everyday life of individuals who may experience aspects of a digital divide. The strategy involves the development of 'Digital Outreach Teams' and a 'Digital Directory' that integrates the use of ICT in everyday settings with service providers and businesses. The aim is to generate a public agency in the community to build ICT capacity in developing an inclusive information society region.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wessels, Professor Bridgette
Authors: Wessels, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:European Journal of ePractice
Publisher:PAU Education

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