where social housing providers meet to help their residents embrace the web
Lately I've been on a quest for updates on Digital Participation strategy & implementation here in Scotland. Thought I'd share what I'd found out so far. If anyone has more info, please let me know! I was pleased to hear from Alan Martin, Digital Partipation Manager, Scottish Govt,that a website is coming. He explained that he had delayed until things were a bit clearer and there was more definite news to communicate.
In the meantime, also thanks to Alan, I went along to a presentation last Wed (11th) on 'Assisted Digital'by Richard Smith and Mark McLeod from the GDS Assisted Digital Policy Service. They will focus on 25 transactions (-not all applicable to Scotland) from across govt depts that can be shifted online e.g. patent applications, prison visit booking, Carers allowance claim and use them to work out a template for the remaining 600 that have been identified so far. My understanding from this is that they are only at an early stage of procuring the services which will work out the framework. The aim is to have the Digital by Default standards ready by April 2014. No service will go 'live' until the Assisted Digital service is available for it. Concerns wereraised by those present that it won’t work if, as appears so far, the focus is just on Assisted Digital - helping folk fill out the online forms with a view to them doing it themselves next time -out of context of the Digital Inclusion/participation work. Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) staff there were making the case for involving the 100’s of small local voluntaries, libraries, others already engaged in helping folk to deliver AD. The AD duo seemed receptive;said they’re forming a Digital Inclusion team and will be working closely with them.
I really appreciated the chance to meet up afterwards with members of the Scottish Digital Participation Action Group. There was more on the theme of Digital Participation by facilitating existing local groups. I was encouraged that this appeared to be the favoured approach, especially of the SCVO representatives who were leading on a lot of the discussion.Tinder Foundation was mentioned favourably too. I'm hopeful that all this bodes well for a co-ordinated approach, with scope to involve local groups and organisations who are already beavering away to get people online!
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