The internet has transformed almost every aspect of our lives. But for the 3 million Australians who are still not online, the education, health, social and financial benefits of being connected remain out of reach. And we know that digital disadvantage coincides with other forms of social and economic disadvantage, so those that can potentially benefit most from being connected are at greater risk of being left behind.
Digital inclusion is recognised as one of the key social justice challenges facing policy makers and communities worldwide. Digital inclusion is not just about computers, the internet or even technology. It is about using technology as a channel to improve skills, to enhance quality of life, to drive education and to promote economic wellbeing across all elements of society. Digital inclusion is really about social inclusion.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index, powered by Roy Morgan Research, measures the extent of digital inclusion in Australia. Access and affordability can present barriers to digital inclusion, however an individual’s digital engagement is also largely affected by Digital Ability (attitudes, skills and activities), whether a person can see potential benefits of engagement, and motivation and attitude, including concerns about safety and security.
This is a digital inclusion measurement tool (Index) that will help inform and promote public policy and program responses to enhance digital inclusion in Australia.
The key objectives of this initiative are:
- To improve our understanding of digital inclusion and its relationship to social and economic disadvantage in Australia
- To raise awareness and focus attention on the social impact of digital inclusion
- To facilitate consultation, debate and discussion among key cross sectoral digital inclusion stakeholders
- To inform what business, government and community organisations can do to enhance digital confidence and participation for all Australians.
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index is not tailored to a particular group or section of the community. It measures the level of digital inclusion of the Australian population as a whole and tracks this over time. Any community in Australia can replicate the index to compare their results against Australia as a whole and if they are able, to do this over time.
SOURCE: Australian Digital Incllusion Index. “Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2017.” Wesite viewed 16 August 2017.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia