More resources to combat the digital divideThe health emergency generated by Covid-19 and the resulting social and economic crisis has highlighted the effects of the digital divide in terms of social cohesion, access to rights and public services among the most vulnerable. Given the situation, and in a move to favour equal opportunities, the City Council is launching a shock plan on digital inclusion to be implemented over the course of 2020. The budget for the plan is 700,000 euros.
The goal of the shock plan on digital inclusion is to improve access to digital tools, help people gain the skills to use them and ensure access to electronic services provided by the City Council.
A survey will be conducted in collaboration with the Fundació Mobile to gauge the digital divide and identify people’s digital needs.
The plan includes action such as strengthening the Digital Fab Labs network, to open them up as facilities for everybody. Although it has been operating during the state of emergency, the Gràcia Fab Lab will be inaugurated in September, and a new digital manufacturing service is also to be set up at Ca l’Alier, meaning seven of the city’s ten districts will have digital production facilities available.
Digital skills programmes offered by Barcelona Activa are to get more tablets and laptops to ensure that people can continue with courses in the case of new lockdowns.
During the health emergency the digital divide has particularly affected people with less training in technology or with no electronic devices or internet connection. Because of this, digital inclusion has been included in the Neighbourhood Plan, with work being done to improve the wi-fi network at municipal facilities. At the same time, a team of digital facilitators are to be introduced at different facilities to help people conduct municipal procedures and learn to use basic apps for videoconferencing etc.
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