Developments in digital technology provide huge benefits to citizens across BIC Administrations. These range from making access to government services easier, quicker and cheaper to administer, to applying for jobs and booking your own travel. Digital technology also plays a key role in tackling social isolation and loneliness, particularly through the use of social media, video messaging and email. Those who are digitally excluded are not only denied easy access to information and services, but also find they are penalised financially by not being able to use the internet. The BIC Digital Inclusion work sector focuses on cooperation between Member Administrations around the themes of ‘People, Partnership and Policies’. By sharing experiences and policies as well as collaborating on practical outcomes, the work sector aims to increase awareness of common areas of understanding and practice in all BIC jurisdictions.
The Council agreed that the Isle of Man Government should take the lead on a Digital Inclusion work sector at the twelfth Summit in Cardiff in February 2009. Digital Inclusion was the focus of the BIC Summit held in November 2014. Two videos produced for that Summit by this work sector, demonstrate the value of getting online and approaches Member Administrations are using to increase digital inclusion.
The work sector is considering digital skills, research and co-operation and the next meeting of Ministers takes place in the Isle of Man in mid-2017. This meeting will give Ministers the opportunity to consider the new work programme.