Tackling the Digital Divide: The Shift from Access to Capacity

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A focus of daily life in the UK now revolves around the adoption of technology and the impact of Internet based technology raises issues of the digital divide, knowledge divide, social empowerment and socio economic effects. This paper focuses on the impact of the UK government’s policy, ‘digital by default’, on individuals with limited IT skills living in an area of deprivation. Following a review of prior research, the paper analyses data from semi structured interviews with progression support workers in their roles supporting individuals in their use of computers to find employment. Research results identify barriers inhibiting individuals from using IT and the discussion reflects whether the inclusion of concepts of Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory into the design of the ‘digital by default’ policy has the potential to address the digital divide. The Conclusion draws on the research results to recommend a revised policy strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-91
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jan 2016


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