Commit to Scotland’s digital charter to end exclusion
Alastair Watson explains why your organisation should join the growing movement of bodies committed to helping everyone participate digitally
One in five adults in Scotland lacks the basic digital skills they need to participate fully in our digital world. Unlike the majority of us who are spending increasing amounts of time online, these people struggle to send an email and wouldn’t know how to upload a picture to Facebook or order their supermarket shopping online.
We want to live in a society where everyone has the skills and confidence to make the most of the opportunities the digital world offers including learning, entertainment and personal connection.
Therefore, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is leading a Digital Participation Programme to reduce digital exclusion, and as part of that has created Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter.
All of these organisations pledge to help tackle digital exclusion in Scotland, and to do so in a joined up and collaborative way that is appropriate to them
The charter has now been signed by 160 bodies, these range from major companies such as BT and Microsoft to local authorities, the Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland and local community groups such as Whale Arts in Wester Hailes. All of these organisations pledge to help tackle digital exclusion in Scotland, and to do so in a joined up and collaborative way that is appropriate to them.
Any organisation from any sector or of any size can sign the charter, and we hope to slowly build a movement that will help reach all of Scotland’s digitally isolated individuals.
The five main commitments of the charter are on the SCVO digital participation website but your contribution can start with the simple filling out of a questionnaire to help us build a picture of the level of basic digital skills in Scotland.
To help make it even easier, SCVO’s digital team have a few tools to help and the newest tool, the Charter Platform, will be launched at DigiScotFest Spring 2016 on 4 February at the Oracle Campus in Linlithgow.
The platform has been built as a straightforward way for charter signatories to post up details of resources that they can offer to the charter. These tend to be volunteer time, meeting/training space, or IT equipment.
Similarly, signatories can post up details of resources that they want from the charter. Organisations can browse and search for these offers and wants, and the platform will make it quick and easy for them to contact each other and make a match. It's that simple.
To find out more about the new charter platform, the Digital Participation Charter in general, or simply to meet SCVO’s digital participation team and the other organisations involved, come along to DigiScotFest in Linlithgow on 4 February.
Alastair Watson is a digital development officer at SCVO.