Working in partnership for Digital Inclusion by Kate Gallant
Some years ago now I was involved in setting up a partnership in Worcestershire designed to jointly focus on helping people get online. Our aim was to take a partnership approach as this seemed to have clear benefits. Reflecting on this now
Today Go ON Worcestershire is still active with partners across the County still delivering support to local people. It has helped over 14,000 people to learn new digital skills and grow their confidence.
Why has this partnership been so effective?
The range of partners engaged was a key element of success – from public sector to charities and social housing providers.
Funding from multiple sources – County Council, Police & Crime Commissioner, partner own resources and contributions.
Access to good, local information and data – the support of the County Council research team as well as extensive partner contributions of information and direct survey work with people who are most excluded supported targeting of learning interventions at particular areas of the County and specific groups of people.
A project delivered across the County – with a lead partner in each area this gave consistency, and also coordination of the delivery of learning.
Measuring impact – this is an area where the partnership could have done more, it has primarily focused on numbers reached and training Digital Champions.
Sharing good practice – the partner desire and commitment to share what worked and what didn’t was strong and this contributed to more effective support being provided.
People – the commitment to making the partnership work was essential and people’s individual contributions were valued.
What next? For Go ON Worcestershire – partners continue to support delivery on the ground. One partner Age UK Hereford & Worcestershire have secured funding from One Digital to take forward a project covering the two Counties plus Gloucestershire (working with Age UK Gloucestershire).
For myself – I’m now working for the One Digital project – facilitating a Community of Practice. It’s a UK wide project with a focus on delivery by the five partners and on sharing learning and good practice in running effective digital inclusion projects. It’s a really interesting group of partners with a very wide variety of experience.
You can find out more about the work of One Digital through our website One Digital – featured on the site is a Toolkit to help partners developing new projects. We are currently planning a learning event in the autumn on Measuring & evaluating impact of digital inclusion projects. Want to find out more and keep in touch have a look here