Building an Ecosystem for Digital Resilience: Do you know potential partners offering complementary, wrap-around, or supportive services? What strategic alliances with businesses, governments, and other organizations or institutions, can be made to ensure digital inclusion?
As mentioned earlier, programs might address only one or two of the elements of digital inclusion. As a result, collaboration within organizations is fundamental to help community members be fully connected.
In building this ecosystem, it is important to consider how the people you serve will be able to access all of the elements of digital inclusion (affordable connectivity, affordable devices, digital literacy skills, or tech support). Do you know potential partners offering complementary, wrap-around or supportive services? What strategic alliances with businesses, governments, and other organizations or institutions, can be made to ensure digital inclusion? Also, consider whether your program might duplicate or even compete with existing community efforts.
“Today, siloed funding and limited coordination across employers, education and service providers, government, philanthropy, technology developers, and other stakeholders impacts learner-workers’ ability to pursue digital learning and upskilling opportunities.32”
A successful strategy requires building innovative partnerships. Alliances among government, private sector, philanthropic and community leaders, adult education and workforce organizations, libraries, and other systems need to participate in order to ensure no citizen is left out.
Some important actors to consider are:
Senior city officials, technology players in the community, advocates/representatives of underserved citizens, economic development agencies, health care providers, immigrant advocacy organizations, legal agencies and clinics, financial sector players, chambers of commerce and entrepreneurs, school system members, public library system leaders, academics, not-for-profit executive directors (technology centers), foundation executives, among others.
Digital US: “Building a Digitally Resilient Workforce: Creating On-Ramps to Opportunity”
More ideas can also be found on this Coalition Guidebook 33 developed by NDIA. This white paper34 from Power Up: The Campaign for Digital Inclusion also offers relevant information.
Join the Virtual Community of Practice
The Community of Practice (CoP) is a professional learning space. This community is a place where programs, partners, and practitioners can seek help from peers, collaborate, network, share knowledge and resources, identify and share best practices in implementing Digital Navigator models in diverse contexts and communities.
→ Guiding principles of this community of practice:
Vision: This community of practice exists to ensure that every resident of our community has home internet access, basic equipment and technical support, and foundational skills to access information and resources to improve themselves, their families, and their communities.
Mission: We work together to promote the recruitment, training, deployment, and effective use of the Digital Navigator model to address digital inclusion needs in multiple settings, organizations, and communities. We exist to advocate for universal, affordable broadband access and basic digital literacy and/or upskilling through coordinated public and community initiatives.
Objectives: We share experiences, challenges, and best practices in piloting Digital Navigation efforts across the country. We share resources and collectively learn and identify best practices for future implementations. We promote programs that utilize Digital Navigators as a strategy to secure and expand equitable internet access, digital literacy, and digital inclusion. We share resources and experiences to improve our practice and to expand the Digital Navigator model.
32Digital US: “Building a Digitally Resilient Workforce: Creating On-Ramps to Opportunity”
33National Digital Inclusion Alliance: “The Digital Inclusion Coalition Guidebook”
34Digital Inclusion Imperatives Offer Municipalities New Social and Economic Opportunities" white paper by Maria E. Wynne and Lane F. Cooper Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, Office of Economic Development and Innovation, U.S. Public Sector.