Digital divide (2009-2010)
Our current society is evolving fast towards a digitalised society. However, this evolution also has its repercussions. Not all members of society are able to benefit from ICT applications to increase the quality of their daily life, resulting in digital divides. There are two types of digital divide: the divide of first degree is a material matter: the absence of physical access to a computer or the internet. The digital divide of the second degree includes the social imbalance created by differences in acquired computer skills.
The current policy in Flanders focuses on improving the physical access to ICT but lacks an approach to overcome the digital divide of the second degree. This project provides insights into the complexity of the social phenomenon ‘digital divide’ and explores problems of charity organizations and points of interest for Flemish policy makers to overcome the classic remediation of digital divide. Based on this study, IST presents a set of policy recommendations to promote digital inclusion and to reduce the social imbalance due to digital illiteracy to the Flemish Parliament on November 18 2010, during the opening event of the event E-dinges (www.edinges.be).
The project was coordinated by Johan Evers. The project was conducted by Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication research centre.
An English summary of the project can be found here. The full report of the project (in Dutch) can be found here. The recommendations (in Dutch) will be available after E-dinges (November 18-20, 2010).