Research to Chart Digital Inclusion
29 September 2015 at 11:50 am
A research project that aims to capture the extent of digital inclusion in Australia has launched in Melbourne.
A joint initiative of Telstra, the Swinburne Institute for Social Research and the Centre for Social Impact, the Australian Digital Inclusion Index is a data-driven tool that aims to improve the understanding of digital inclusion and its interaction with social and economic disadvantage in Australia.
Digital inclusion is recognised as one of the key social justice challenges facing policy makers and communities worldwide.
“Today, access to online services, connected via the internet wherever you live, work or travel, has become basic and essential – something everyone needs to survive in our increasingly digital economy and society,” Telstra’s Group Managing Director, Consumer and Products, Karsten Wildberger, said.
“While the internet has transformed our lives, four million Australians are still not online, and are missing out on the education, health, social and financial benefits of being connected.”
Wildberger said the research project will create an Index by which to measure progress in improving digital inclusion in Australia.
“It will provide critical insights to inform more effective policies, products and programs to ensure that all Australians can get online and enjoy the benefits that connection can bring,” he said.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with the Swinburne Institute for Social Research and the Centre for Social Impact on this new project.”
He said the development of the Index will involve extensive consultation with key community, academic, government and business organisations, and will provide critical insights to inform more effective policies, products and programs to ensure no one gets left behind.
A discussion paper has been produced to help to inform and guide the public consultation, and can be found here.