At a time when the National Broadband Network begins its roll out across Australia, it is important to focus on the need to ensure not just access, but active participation in all communities if the real benefits are to be realised.

For a decade now Microsoft has supported “Digital Inclusion” projects, but this notion of what Digital Inclusion means has evolved over the years. Digital inclusion does not simply mean ‘connecting everyone to the internet,’ it is about improving the quality of life and life opportunities of socially excluded people.

Digital inclusion is about affordable access to information technology, economic development of disadvantaged communities, increasing user IT skills, the creation of relevant web-based content and the inspiration of local communities to lifelong learning.
There is an intrinsic link, between the need to increase digital inclusion with the need to raise the capacity for digital proficiency in the community service sector.

Digital proficiency improves the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and has a flow-on effect that creates a more digitally inclusive society.

Microsoft is proud to support an innovative program by InfoXchange Australia “MeasureIT Asia Pac” This program has been designed to assist not-for-profit organisations in the Asia Pacific Region to become more digitally proficient through providing the information and resources to get the most out of their information and communication technology (ICT) setup.

This program will enable a not for profit organisation to deliver the Measure IT to other not for profits, thereby building the ICT capacity and delivering the fundamentals of any civil and democratic country in the 21st century.

‘Our team conducted ITC audits with three community service organisations in India, Indonesia and New Zealand, ‘said InfoXchange Executive Director, Andrew Mahar. ‘The accumulation and sharing of knowledge for creativity, innovation and production, and the use of networking as the central principle of cooperation are not only a consequence of digital proficiency, but are essential for further societal growth,’

Digital proficiency raises productivity, increases capacity, motivates employees and promotes dynamic development. And these benefits apply equally to organisational development of any kind including in community service organisations. For more information about Measure IT visit: www.measureit.infoxchange.net.au

Paul Clark, Citizenship and Community Affairs Manager