The Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) @DigiPovAlliance, the national non-profit for ending digital poverty, is announcing a prominent list of individuals and organisations who will comprise its Board and Community Board, ahead of its first official board meeting tomorrow. The DPA is also sharing key milestones in its roadmap towards a national digital poverty delivery plan aimed at ending digital poverty once and for all.
The Board, which will be responsible for overall strategic leadership of the Digital Poverty Alliance will comprise:
- Lord Knight
- Baroness McGregor-Smith, CBE
- Alex Baldock, Currys plc
- David Burrows, The Learning Foundation
- Nigel Fine, Institute of Engineering and Technology
- Paul Finnis, The Learning Foundation / Digital Poverty Alliance
- Danielle George, MBE, Institute of Engineering and Technology
- Assad Malic, Currys plc
- Niel McLean, The Learning Foundation
- Michelle Richmond, MBE, Institute of Engineering and Technology
- Leigh Smyth, Co-Chair DPA Community Board
- Moira Thomas, Currys plc
The Community Board will unite some of the foremost organisations and companies working to end digital poverty, to drive and inspire collective action, as well as several government departments and agencies. Organisations already signed up include, We Are Digital, Tech UK, Ofcom, Teach First, Digital Leaders, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Digital Inclusion Wales, AbilityNet, Good Things Foundation, UK Finance, Movement for Work, Money and Pensions Service, Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, CAST, Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, Housing Association Charitable Trust and Digital Unite and further applications are encouraged via www.digitalpovertyalliance.org.
The Digital Poverty Alliance, which is backed by Currys and the Institute of Engineering and Technology, was formed earlier this year as a response to the issues highlighted by increased reliance on digital technology during the pandemic. According to Ofcom research from April 2021, digital poverty affects millions nationwide, with 1.5m UK homes still having no internet access, and is a significant contributing factor towards other forms of poverty.
The charity aims to unite and convene individuals, organisations and government for sustainable action to end digital poverty. In 2022, it aims to create a national digital poverty delivery plan, with the aim of helping lift hundreds of thousands out of digital poverty, and making a positive impact on overall levels of poverty in the UK.
Paul Finnis, CEO of the Digital Poverty Alliance said, “Digital poverty is a major issue, not just for those who live it, but for the growth and success of the UK. It is vital that the Government prioritises digital inclusion in 2022. Our intention is that in bringing together these experienced and influential individuals and organisations we will take a major step towards eradicating digital poverty in the UK.”
Baroness Ruby McGregor Smith, CBE Co-Chair of the Digital Poverty Alliance Board said, “There are lots of fantastic initiatives across the UK addressing Digital Poverty and an important opportunity to work with organisations still unaware of the positive impact they could have on people’s lives. Following consultation, we understand we must support and enable this ecosystem to tackle all the determinants of Digital Poverty. Our DPA community has a unique opportunity to work together, share evidence of what works and, crucially, to collaborate and join up solutions so people in need can access what they need at the right time and place for their lives.”
Assad Malic, Group Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director, Currys plc said, “As the UK’s number one tech retailer, we are determined to end digital poverty once and for all by 2030. Tech is integral to our lives, now more than ever. It is unacceptable that those less affluent are not able to learn, work or operate on the same playing field as their peers. This has to change. We urge others to step up and join the Digital Policy Alliance.”
In addition to the main Board and Community Board, the Digital Poverty Alliance also welcomes ambassadors and community members to drive action across the wider ecosystem.
To coincide with the Board and Community Board launches, the Digital Poverty Alliance is also publishing its key milestones until the end of the year.
Over the week of 15th November, the Digital Poverty Alliance will be supporting a number of APPGs with six round tables in Parliament on Digital Poverty and Inequality. The sessions will be on a range of different issues in the sector, and the purpose of the roundtables is to bring politicians, industry and the third sector together to discuss what progress has been made in the last 2 years, what gaps still exist, and where we go next.
The outcomes of the round tables will inform a broader Digital Poverty UK Evidence Review, authored by Oxford academic Dr Kira Allman, which will be published in December. The Digital Poverty Alliance will publish its recommendations for a national delivery plan in H1 2022.