Developing a Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion

Leeds is one of nine councils awarded funding as part of the Local Government Association (LGA) Digital Pathfinders Programme, designed to support councils seeking to innovate and develop pioneering initiatives to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security. 100% Digital Leeds have been funded to develop a Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion and run a series of related workshops with five councils selected by LGA. Interested parties can follow our progress on the project Miro board and we will publish an update blog after each workshop. The resulting model will be published and launched in December this year.

The Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion

We at 100% Digital Leeds are developing our tried and tested cross-sector collaboration approach into a “Community-based Model to Increase Digital Inclusion”. We are formalising the stages and steps required to foster collaboration between key partners working with a particular community – a geographical community or ‘community of interest’.  

Using the Community-based Model, partners already working with and in a particular community come together to better understand the digital inclusion needs of that community and co-design bespoke solutions to meet those needs. Each partner uses its strengths and assets to play its part in that solution and, through partnership working, each of those parts comes together to form a whole collaborative offer. Each organisation supports the partnership in a way that is mutually beneficial, to achieve shared objectives and positive outcomes, and for the good of the community they support. The result is increased digital inclusion for a community so that people can access the full range of available services, appropriately and as necessary, at the right time, and in the right way for them. Interventions are sustainable because they are designed around and embedded within existing systems and services.

Taking the time to reflect on and formalise our approach gives us space to identify our successes and strengths, standardise as best practice, and ensure we follow the most efficient route to the most positive impact as standard.

The model is broken down in to four stages:

  1. Focus and partnerships
  2. Barriers, assets, and opportunities
  3. Coproducing solutions
  4. Understanding and measuring success

Working with councils to sense check the model

The resulting model will be available to use by the 100% Digital Leeds team and partners as well as other councils across the UK. Over the next six months we are bringing together five councils for a series of workshops, evaluating each stage in turn to sense check the model and ensure the approach is workable outside of a Leeds context.

At each stage and step we’re asking partnering councils:

  • How does this compare to your existing approaches?
  • What seems like a good fit for you?
  • What might not work for you?
  • What’s missing?

The workshops will give the partnering councils the opportunity to go through the stages of the model and consider how they would adopt and implement the approach in the context of their council with the support of 100% Digital Leeds. They will also be working through the stages with the mutual support of other councils in a similar position.

Progress updates

We’ll write about each workshop in more detail as they happen.

LGA Workshop One: Focus & partnerships

LGA Workshop Two: Barriers, assets and opportunities

LGA Workshop Three: Forming and implementing a plan

LGA Workshop Four: Understanding and measuring success