Digital Exclusion Among At-Risk Groups in Limerick

Digital Exclusion Among At-Risk Groups in Limerick

Limerick is the first Smart City in Ireland. Committing to reducing digital exclusion by addressing knowledge gaps.

Photo by Shalvi Raj on Unsplash

This project helps address knowledge gaps in defining what digital exclusion is, the impact of digital exclusion on communities in Limerick and beyond, how digital inclusion affects different groups and services gaps due to digital exclusion.

Limerick is the first Smart City in Ireland. Yet whilst the technological connectivity is being improved by Smart Limerick, the partners are committed to reducing digital exclusion in the city and county.

What are we doing?

This project has three strands. First, reviewing the state of art on digital inclusion, locally and worldwide, including an analysis of digital inclusion interventions from a sister project, Medici. Second, we will perform a stakeholder consultation, which involved 10 interviews with representatives from local services and eight focus groups with stakeholders and local people from digitally excluded groups. Third, we will map services provided in Limerick, and bring these services and other stakeholders together in an Open Space Technology event. The result of these activities will be written into a report for the client and related stakeholders.

Why does this project matter?

A significant minority of Europeans are digitally excluded, through a combination of life choices, low confidence or skills, and an inability to afford the requisite technology. Across the EU, 14% of people have never used the internet. In Ireland, digital services are ahead of the UK on many metrics, yet a greater proportion of society does not use the internet, leading to pressure to adapt and isolation and frustration for those who cannot. Eurostat evidence shows the digital divide is driven by four main factors: age, educational status, income, and geography. When these factors act together, for instance in areas County Limerick, addressing digital exclusion is complex and requires deep understanding to take effective actions.

Where can I find out more about this topic?

Find out more about Smart Limerick, the first digital city in Ireland.

The sister project of Digital Limerick is Medici, which maps and assesses good practices for digital inclusion across the EU. The project website is due to launch in April 2020 and is available here, where you can find digital inclusion initiatives close to you.

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