This discussion paper defines digital inclusion, exploring whether it is a process or state, its focus on services or users, and its role as a human right or service. It identifies key barriers to digital inclusion such as access (internet connectivity, device availability) and capability (digital literacy, language issues). These barriers particularly affect demographic groups like the elderly, disabled, less educated, rural residents, and immigrants.
The paper is a part of the “Digital Inclusion in Action” project, examines digital inclusion in the Nordic-Baltic region, aligning with the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). Authored by the Digital Europe consortium, its goal is to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among practitioners and policymakers.
The paper suggests two main strategies for enhancing digital inclusion monitoring. Initially, it advocates for increased cooperation among Nordic-Baltic countries to standardize monitoring practices and facilitate knowledge sharing. In the longer term, it recommends aligning more closely with the EU’s DESI framework to integrate digital inclusion monitoring and benefit from a broader knowledge base for benchmarking and learning.