Digital inclusion research project with Leeds Beckett University

Over the last 12 months, 100% Digital Leeds has worked with the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University on a research project funded by the British Academy.

The aim of the research was to understand how two city-wide programmes led by local authorities – 100% Digital Leeds and #CovConnects – contribute towards addressing digital inequality at a city-wide level, and how this impact can be measured.

The project also aimed to improve understanding of the complexity of such programmes, and to support local and national government to design, implement, and evaluate more effective city and region-wide digital inclusion interventions.

The final report was published on the British Academy website in May 2024.

Co-producing a Theory of Change and evaluation framework for local authority-led, city-wide digital inclusion programmes

The British Academy wrote a Policy Brief outlining lessons and best practice from this research and two other digital inclusion research projects:

The key lessons for policymakers at regional and local levels were:

  • Digital inclusion provision at local and regional levels may be undermined by the lack of a nationally coordinated strategy.
  • Digital inclusion is a cross-cutting policy issue that can impact social and economic policy agendas.
  • Approaches to digital inclusion can benefit from recognising it as an intermediate policy outcome rather than an end in itself.
  • Longer-term and less prescriptive funding arrangements can enable delivery partners to provide tailored support that meets people’s long-term digital inclusion needs.
  • Digital inclusion programmes benefit from taking place-based approaches that are tailored to local contexts and co-produced by actors at different scales.