Combined authorities told to involve charities in tackling digital exclusion

Combined authorities are being urged to ensure they work with local charities to improve efforts to combat digital exclusion in their area.

The regional authorities, which involve councils working together regionally to support services, have been offered the advice on ways to improve digital inclusion from the charity Good Things Foundation.

The digital inclusion charity’s report A Roadmap For Combined Authorities urged combined authorities to ensure they “map the landscape of voluntary, community and social enterprise players” already working in tackling digital exclusion.

In addition, these ‘super councils’ need to “learn how the voluntary and community sector” already works with local council commissioners and digital skills providers.

Also recommended is that combined authorities set up citizen’s panels “to understand local needs and priorities”.

Among examples of good practice is a digital inclusion taskforce, set up by Greater Manchester Combined Authority. This is “made up of local and national
government, voluntary sector, industry and academics” to support local digitally excluded people.

GMCA also developed a grants programme “to help community organisations fund their provision”.

Earlier this month Good Things Foundation head of external affairs Alex Waddington discussed with Charity Times how charities are working to erase ‘data poverty’.

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