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Developing an inclusive information society Research and policy approaches ESDIS meeting, Brussels 13 January 2003 Dr. Susan ODonnell Itech Research -

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Presentation on theme: "Developing an inclusive information society Research and policy approaches ESDIS meeting, Brussels 13 January 2003 Dr. Susan ODonnell Itech Research -"— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing an inclusive information society Research and policy approaches ESDIS meeting, Brussels 13 January 2003 Dr. Susan ODonnell Itech Research - Ireland

2 Some current and recent projects 1. Irish policy for an inclusive info society 2. Diversity Ireland website 3. IST project - voluntary organisations 4. EU eDemocracy research network 5. IST project - employment and disadvantage 6. eCitizen skills

3 1.1 Irish policy for inclusive IS Question: How can national policy be developed to encourage an inclusive info society? Method: Analyse new survey data; profile late adopter groups; build a policy framework; interview stakeholders at local, regional and national levels; international practice

4 1.2 Current work … Measure inclusive info society development (new indices) Synthesis of local, regional, national social and economic policies Develop list of stakeholders for interview and consultation

5 1.3 Policy framework… Motivate late adopter groups to engage with ICTs Develop ICT skills and learning in late adopter groups Develop ICT capacity in community and voluntary organisations Develop online community and local content for late adopter groups

6 1.3 Policy framework (contd) Provide online government info and services for all Affordable and accessible broadband access for late adopter groups Research and evaluation of inclusive info society development Coordinate all actors

7 2.1 Diversity Ireland website Question: How can the Internet meet the information needs of immigrants to Ireland and ethnic minority groups in Ireland? Method: Analysis and interviews with international websites, consultations with stakeholders, interviews with Internet café users

8 2.2 Some findings.. info needed: About ethnic minority communities in Ireland Working in Ireland Being an entrepreneur Languages and literacy Training and education Accommodation and housing Services and support Government and NGO policies Laws, legisation and rights Ireland – general info Europe – general info

9 2.3 Findings … the site should: Direct newcomers and ethnic minority groups to existing sources of information Introduce existing info, revise or rewrite it to meet users needs Identify gaps in info provision Encourage existing info providers to fill the gaps Encourage users to produce info for the site

10 3.1 IST – voluntary organisations Question: What is the potential role of voluntary organisations in encouraging a more inclusive info society in Europe? Method: Literature review, interviews in 5 countries, policy analysis

11 3.2 Some findings…roles: Providing training and employment in the information society Expanding democratic participation and online content Increasing social capital and participation for all

12 3.3 Human capital aspects People experiencing disadvantage can acquire ICT skills through voluntary activities Voluntary orgs are providing training and learning in ICT skills Some voluntary orgs are providing ICT training aimed at sustainable employment

13 3.4 Social capital aspects Voluntary orgs are increasing awareness of ICTs among disadvantaged people Through using computer applications, voluntary orgs can build trust in ICTs among disadvantaged people Voluntary-run ICT initiatives can help build peer-support for ICT use

14 4.1 EU eDemocracy network Purpose: Linking EU-level researchers working on IST projects related to ICTs and democracy Coordinated by CNRS and MTA in Paris, linking a wide group of researchers and projects

15 4.2 Some findings … Shift by public authorities from e- democracy to e-government Countries with postal voting moving more quickly to e-voting Online tools of great use to those outside the democratic process

16 5.1 IST research – employment and disadvantage Question: Which interventions will effectively support the transition of women and men experiencing disadvantage into sustainable employment in the IS? Method: Analysis of EMPLOYMENT projects in IRL, UK, Spain, Italy and Finland

17 5.2 Some findings Need to be training towards existing local jobs – teleworking??? Childcare, childcare, childcare Are online support tools relevant for disadvantaged groups?

18 6.1 eCitizen skills Product in development by the ECDL Foundation ICT skills training and certification programme for e-citizen – to make them more included in the digital environment

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20 Conclusions re human capital If ICT jobs exist, some can be filled by training disadvantaged groups (Belfast) Voluntary/community orgs an important place for informal learning of ICTs Weak public services infrastructure inhibits human capital/ ICT skills development

21 Conclusions re social capital Voluntary/community orgs need ICT development and support to perform social capital role (trust, awareness) re ICTs Social capital can be developed through wide consultation in policy development and research

22 Observations re social capital Social capital a fuzzy term Different usage across academic disciplines and policy areas Need to keep linking social, human and economic capital

23 Observations re social capital Social capital not good in itself Similar to technology, social capital can help to develop both democratic and undemocratic social/economic processes Important to focus on democracy and see how social capital can help develop it

24 Thank you! Dr. Susan ODonnell Itech Research (new name) Abbey House Upper Abbey Street Dublin 1 Ireland


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