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Newsletters > October 2011 > SO6 Good Practice: The Andalusian Digital Commitment project
10/08/11
Andalusia Digital Commitment is an initiative of volunteering promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Science (CEIC) of the Regional Government of Andalusia to provide access to Information and Communication Tecnology (ICT) to the whole andalusian society.

Access to information and knowledge through technologies of Information and Communication is now a key element for both personal developments as the company itself: left out of progress Technology has become a form of social exclusion to which it is face. The task of building a more inclusive society and the fight against social exclusion and digital is a challenge that society must contribute actively, mobilizing resources towards overcoming the digital divide, both from the public authorities and from civil society itself.

The Andalusian Digital Commitment project (https://www.andaluciacompromisodigital.org/) aims to mobilise citizens towards their integration into the knowledge and information society by incorporating technology into the daily lives of the ENTIRE Andalusian population. It is managed by the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Science of the Regional Government of Andalusia.

The initial design of the project envisaged its potential users as being the older Andalusian population with different levels of ITC literacy. But the project has been set in motion with the help of social and community entities and currently user belong to all types of underprivileged groups living out of reach of new technologies.

In the actual phase of the project recently started, ADC will not be only focused in the action of the volunteers to the users, but will increase activities related with access to the Information Society, at the disposal of the citizens.

Specific objectives are:

- To increase ICT access rates of the andalusian citizens: both use of ICT and equipments,

- To prepare andalusian citizens to acquire secure and responsible behaviours of new technologies,

- To generate trust in ICT,

- To promote a culture of solidarity through collaboration, commitment and volunteer participation,

- To use third sector bodies to unite groups at risk of being socially excluded from the information society,

- To identify and enhance the group of public and/or private resources available for everyone and in particular for the project.

The achievement of the project objectives relies on a special component: the volunteer. The relationship between the participant and the volunteer is known as Digital Support.

The main target population of the project is the users.

Although it does depend on demand, in general users tend to be those with a low level of ICT knowledge, or those who tend to reject the use of ICT.

• People with disabilities

• Immigrants

• Mothers and fathers

• Rural communities

• The older population

• People at risk of social/digital exclusion

Gradually ADC is also attending those groups with other needs related to a better use of technology or to the use of advanced services. Nevertheless, as said before, the final target is the entire Andalusian population.

The work of volunteers is altruistic. They are the backbone of the project and play a key role in disseminating the rest of the Junta de Andalucía programmes for development of the Information Society. Their role is to identify users' needs. A key factor is their close relationship with users. Some of the volunteers have a social or technically-oriented background, their level of technological knowledge is not uniform and the leader assigns the volunteers in accordance with the users' needs. Volunteers network is managed by the Red Cross.

Since 2011 there is a new actor, digital collaborator (10,4%), also on altruistic basis, gives punctual services to citizens.

Digital Support is the way in which the volunteers can:

- Raise participants' and users' awareness to the importance of accessing the Information Society as a way for promoting social integration, personal growing, inclusion for marginalised groups, conciliation of family and work life, improve way of live, etc.

- Identify the needs of project participants and translate them into possibilities.

- Share technological knowledge with others

- Provide information, tools and resources for the use of new technologies.

Where this support could be found? In any participating centre of the network, or even at home.

The volunteer network is spread across the region via 9 centres that coordinate activities.

• The centres have specific personnel with knowledge and experience in mobilising volunteers

• They recruit, train and incorporate volunteers into the network.

• They identify users' needs.

• They coordinate volunteer and citizen activities.

The ADC project promotes collaboration. Civil society, third sector organisations, companies, public and private institutions and the government are all gathering strength and forces for increasing and developing the project.

- COLLABORATING ENTITIES are Third sector companies that directly participate in the implementation of the project, energising and raising awareness of their respective action groups. Organisations and public or private institutions (public administration bodies, universities, professional associations) are a guarantee for the project by collaborating in different fields. ADC has 160 collaborating entities.

- DIGITAL SPONSORS are private companies that are actively committed to achieving the project's objectives and goals, and collaborate by providing resources or quantifiable services. There is a sponsorship plan with 8 defined collaboration lines aimed at incorporating the maximum number of companies. ADC has 16 sponsoring companies

This initiative has been a real success in Andalusia and both groups of participants, end users and volunteers, are deeply contributing to reduce the digital gap in this region.

Since 2007, 2136 active volunteers, 130,672 digital supports, 38,131 users, more than 160 municipalities with project-presence, etc.

The project has appeared widely in the media (radio, TV, generalist and specialised press) thanks to the interest that has arisen in the media, the support from the two communication campaigns carried out in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and the support from sponsors, contributing to the visibility of the project.

Since the sponsorship programme began at the end of 2008, 32 active corporate volunteers that have carried out 156 hours of activity, 18 people in the process of becoming corporative volunteers, 722 placements on specialised training courses with an approximate cost of €150,000, 92 hours of use of adapted premises for celebrating Andalucía Digital sessions.

For the coming years, the goals were:

- Increase target groups in order to reach the entire population

- Maintaining the volunteer training plan with resources provided by private companies and increase the amounts given by sponsoring companies as a whole, for supporting the visibility and financing of events (end goal: self-financing).

- Increase collaboration agreements with the 10 Andalusian universities to better reach the university community

- Formalising agreements with specific professional associations that guarantee and give credibility to the project

- Focus on hospitals (both medical professionals and patients)

- Increase collaboration with associative entities

- Increase ICT awareness