New personalised support service to reduce the digital divide

New personalised support service to reduce the digital divide

Digital rights. The service helps people who are unused to using ICTs to conduct administrative procedures online.

A new team of ICT officers are advising people who are unused to using information technologies and the e-administration to carry out administrative procedures. The new municipal service has been created to guarantee people’s access to digital tools, particularly in the most vulnerable neighbourhoods and groups, as highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The digital divide during the Covid-19 health emergency has particularly affected those with less training in technologies and those without electronic devices or an internet connection. To reduce that gap, digital skills-builders will be helping users who for various reasons do not use ICTs, so that they can carry out administrative procedures such as registering for different municipal services or applying for subsidies. They will also teach people to use basic tools such as email, electronic signatures, videoconferencing, the generation of pdf documents and so forth.

The initiative began on 21 September and during the first two weeks digital skills-builders helped 124 people. Anybody interested in using the service should request an appointment through the Socio-economic Response Network.

The ICT officers are based at facilities in the neighbourhoods of El Ravel, El Besòs i el Maresme, Trinitat Vella, Zona Nord, Les Roquetes and Trinitat Nova. They will also be giving short training sessions in other districts of Barcelona.

The new digital skills-building service was developed by the Fundació BIT Habitat and is one of the first initiatives to be implemented under the City Council’s shock plan for digital inclusion, which has a budget of 700,000 euros. It comes in addition to the Socio-economic Response Network activated this summer under the Neighbourhood Plan, to help people whose basic life conditions have worsened, the goal being to connect them to municipal services and aid.

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