The Medici project has launched digitalinclusion.eu, an online platform that gathers good practices on digital inclusion. Medici’s primary task is to encourage the digital inclusion community to improve and spread these practices across Europe.
A key aspect of this endeavour is evidence. Evidence is a broad term that includes different types of knowledge. While there are different views and hierarchies of knowledge around this topic, the MEDICI project sees evidence in two ways:
First, we promote high-quality evidence which distinguishes between projects which are innovative but not evidenced; effective in that there is evidence that the project made a difference; and replicable where projects can say with confidence that they worked, in context and more than once. We need evidence to help make decisions about how best to improve digital inclusion.
Second, MEDICI wants to share the lived experience of people who set up and deliver projects as well as those who take part in them.
Evidence is bound up in hierarchies that are difficult to navigate. Many interventions are worthwhile but not evidenced, whilst others have some evaluation but the evaluation that was delivered does not fit the needs of the project. Other projects have been less successful in achieving their aims so far yet sharing stories and experiences from their journey can be incredibly valuable to the community by promoting dialogue about the real difficulties that such projects face.
To face these challenges of raising evidence whilst encouraging discussion of projects in progress, we have first created the Digital Inclusion Story Space. This is a place for informal knowledge, for projects which do not yet have an evaluation but are worth sharing and discussing. In the Story Space, you can upload your own projects, read other people’s accounts, engaging in community ratings and have discussions about digital inclusion practices.
Second, our team have produced a short video that goes into more detail about how to generate evidence through evaluation, and what role evaluation can play in improving digital inclusion projects and spreading good practices.