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Digital local agenda: bridging the digital divide

Digital local agenda: bridging the digital divide Purpose – While information communication technologies (ICTs) are essential for social and economic development in today's emerging digital society, the problem of the digital divide persists. To close this gap, the European Union has proposed eInclusive policies. However, a general belief has emerged that this issue must be dealt with at the local level. The purpose of this paper is to report on such an effort, the Digital Local Agenda (DLA). It aims to show the DLA development in Europe and provide an example of its utilization in practice through a European initiative. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explains the rationale for the DLA, and examines implementation of the DLA in pilot sites in five European countries to support civil servants in small municipalities, and empower them to develop and utilize their capacities to use ICTs and reach people most in danger of eExclusion. Findings – Preliminary findings indicate that the DLA should be considered when looking for solutions to the persistent problem of digital exclusion in Europe. Implementing the DLA may improve public service provision and reduce the digital divide faced by disempowered groups. Originality/value – Given the flexible and adaptable instruments provided for in the DLA, the paper argues that the DLA is an effective and strategic approach to translate policy frameworks into solutions that practitioners can deploy to overcome the barriers of accessing eGovernment, reduce the digital divide among marginalized groups in Europe and include all stakeholders in decision making processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Digital local agenda: bridging the digital divide

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/17506161211267419
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – While information communication technologies (ICTs) are essential for social and economic development in today's emerging digital society, the problem of the digital divide persists. To close this gap, the European Union has proposed eInclusive policies. However, a general belief has emerged that this issue must be dealt with at the local level. The purpose of this paper is to report on such an effort, the Digital Local Agenda (DLA). It aims to show the DLA development in Europe and provide an example of its utilization in practice through a European initiative. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explains the rationale for the DLA, and examines implementation of the DLA in pilot sites in five European countries to support civil servants in small municipalities, and empower them to develop and utilize their capacities to use ICTs and reach people most in danger of eExclusion. Findings – Preliminary findings indicate that the DLA should be considered when looking for solutions to the persistent problem of digital exclusion in Europe. Implementing the DLA may improve public service provision and reduce the digital divide faced by disempowered groups. Originality/value – Given the flexible and adaptable instruments provided for in the DLA, the paper argues that the DLA is an effective and strategic approach to translate policy frameworks into solutions that practitioners can deploy to overcome the barriers of accessing eGovernment, reduce the digital divide among marginalized groups in Europe and include all stakeholders in decision making processes.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 5, 2012

Keywords: Civil servant empowerment; Digital divide; Digital Local Agenda (DLA); eGovernment; eInclusion; Marginalization; Europe; Decision making; Digital technology

References