We put people first
Digital inclusion is not just about improving digital services. We focus on the people for whom the services are intended.
We focus on what is already available
A lot is already being done for people who find it difficult to go digital. Many large cities receive money from the government. This money is used to offer training courses , in both large and small towns and cities. In these courses, people learn to read and write, and they also learn about going digital.
Libraries are just one of the places where you can use computers for free. Libraries also organise courses and sessions for people who are finding it difficult to go digital. They often work together with other organisations such as the Tax Authorities, Oefenen.nl and Digisterker. These organisations provide legal advice on laws or regulations and help people with problems such as applying for benefits. Libraries tell us that many people still find it difficult to manage their own affairs with the government and that they need help going digital.
We are investigating why some people participate in going digital and why others do not
Many organisations are doing their best to get people to join the digital society. These organisations include senior citizen organisations (Seniorweb, KBO- PCOB, etc.), the National Library of the Netherlands and Reading & Writing Foundation. Unfortunately, they cannot reach everyone. To reach more people, we need to know why some people are going digital and others are not. There may be all kinds of reasons, related to one’s personal situation.
We are going to do more research together with other ministries and organisations .
This should give us a better understanding of how we can reach people. We are using existing knowledge in this research, for example, from the national programme ‘Tel mee met Taal’. We are also using knowledge gained from local programmes such as DagenDoen (www.dagendoen.nl). We are also looking at the consequences for business owners.
More cooperation within the government
Going digital affects many areas, including education, social affairs and security. It is therefore important that the government chooses one approach. That’s why we are making agreements with other ministries such as Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) . We are also working together with municipalities and social organisations, because they have direct contact with various (vulnerable) target groups.
New programme: Tel mee met Taal 2020+
From 2019, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BKZ) will participate in the ‘Tel mee met Taal’ programme. This programme aims to support people who need help with reading, writing and digital skills. In the new programme, we focus particularly on going digital. The old ‘Tel mee met Taal’ programme will finish at the end of 2019. We will inform you about the content of the new programme before the summer of 2019. My colleagues at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, municipalities and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and I will determine the content .
We are using more language ambassadors
People who find it difficult to go digital often know best what they need. Language ambassadors are people who used to have difficulties with reading and writing and therefore also with digital skills. By taking courses and with practice, they are now able to use their own experiences to help others. People who have difficulty with reading, writing and digital skills often like to hear personal experiences. That’s why we want to use more language ambassadors.
We are using the creativity of start-ups
Many new, small businesses have creative ways of working. These companies are called start-ups. We want to use the experience of these start-ups more. We do this with our ‘Start-up in residence’ programme. We ask start-ups to think of ways to help people think of going digital as fun, not scary.
Increasing and improving the help network
People often get help from people they know when they find it hard to use digital services, because of a disability or for other (temporary) reasons. They get help from family members or people in the community, for example. We call this group of people the social network. We are going to focus more on these networks . We are also going to going to focus more on volunteers. If volunteers can have all of their questions answered by local social organisations, then they will be able to do a better job.
Libraries are given a more important role
We will make sure that people get even more help in libraries. At this moment, it’s possible to get help with completing your tax return. Next, libraries must also be able to give people information about such matters as applying digitally for a benefit or allowance. Fifteen libraries will start doing this in early 2019. Other libraries will follow later.
New partnerships in order to reach more people
We will try to find new ways to reach people who are having trouble going digital. We will also start new partnerships for this. To reach different people, we have to work together with various organisations. We can reach more elderly people through elderly care. We can find out how to reach employees via their employers. In 2019, the Kids Council (Raad van Kinderen) will perform a study of how children’s knowledge of going digital is affected by their family environment.
We are starting experiments
We want to improve the help people get with going digital. In order to find out what works well, you sometimes have to experiment. We will be doing this in Groningen in the coming months. We are doing this together with local companies. In this experiment, we will mainly be looking at how we can improve the role of the family. Because you learn more about going digital if your family is also involved.