Strategic focus three of the Hume Digital Economy Strategy is to use new digital media to create smarter, better-designed, more accessible public services with reduced costs and higher impact, tailored to local communities and businesses. There are enormous opportunities in the public sector to utilise these technologies. Examples include:
- Use of social media for engagement, services and services
- Sharing costs and experiences
- Involving residents in service design and delivery
- Opening up access to data, and
- Using digital platforms to improve emergency services
To achieve the goal of improved services and engagement the region will focus on the following actions:
- Review of the design and delivery of services in a digital era by every public sector organisation in the region
- Identifying the specific needs in terms of digital infrastructure
- Reviewing digital skills of staff and how they can potentially use mobile and social technologies
- Reviewing how smart data can be managed and utilised
- Finding digital champions within organisations who can promote change
- Reviewing how fibre networks can be used to deliver services
- Committing to a regional and partner Open Data Policy
- Ensuring all not-for-profit organisations, companies and other partners delivering programs for the the public sector have their own digital strategies and digital inclusion policies
- Review use of online platforms in the context of improving emergency services
Specific actions for individual partners are included in the Digital Hume action plan.
What do you think of the actions above? Do you have any other suggestions? We’d love to hear from others in the region with ideas and initiatives that are already underway.
The second strategic focus of the Hume Digital Strategy is to get everyone online by 2017. The economic gain from enabling an extra 10 per cent of the population to get online has been estimated by the Federal Government as resulting in a minimum increase of over 0.5 per cent in the areas output or wealth.
Obviously ensuring access for the community is the first step in getting people online which is the first strategic focus of the report. Once the platform is in place we still need to ensure we get region-wide participation and that we develop the skills needed to participate effectively in order to ensure digital readiness. (see Figure below. source: Hume Digital Strategy)
The region as a whole must commit to a “broad campaign and program of projects to raise enthusiasm, skills and digital inclusion”. The specific actions outlined in the strategy are:
- To set a bold target for all online by 2017. The aim is to drive and motivate partners and the community towards the goal of a networked region
- To develop a tool to assess broadband readiness and the use of digital media
- To ensure partners make digital inclusion a priority and are digital champions for their area, client or community group
- Ensuring best practice is shared and activities coordinated
- Focusing on groups at risk of digital exclusion such as over 60s, the indigenous community, people with a disability, recent migrants and refugees
- Focusing on businesses that historically have low take up, such as those in agriculture and hospitality sectors, and small business enterprises
- Focusing on re-skilling and/or up-skilling those in work or seeking to enter the workforce
- Exploiting libraries and other relevant public infrastructure to act as key digital hubs for access and skills
- Driving up community acquisition and use of digital skills and demand for broadband through increased digitisation of services and engagement with residents via online platforms and social media, and
- Ensuring public spaces have WI-FI connectivity/availability
The full Digital Strategy documents can be downloaded here.
Are you involved in getting people online in the region? We’d love to hear your story via our comments and Twitter and Facebook pages.