City Research Online

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Yates, S. & Carmi, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1108-2075 (2024). Chapter 1 - Introduction. In: Yates, S. & Carmi, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1108-2075 (Eds.), Digital Inclusion: International Policy and Research. Palgrave Studies in Digital Inequalities. (pp. 1-10). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-28930-9_1


This book developed from the “Digital Inclusion Policy and Research Conference 2021”. This was the third in a series of conferences that brought together, academic researchers, policy makers and practitioners. The chapters presented here represent the breadth of topics explored at the conference. The conference took place – online – at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result several the chapters here explore issues that arose or interventions that took place in response to COVID-19. This is not just a curiosity of timing but reflects a key shift in thinking, especially policy, thinking about digital exclusion and strategies for digital inclusion. COVID-19 lockdowns drove a range of responses. Many governments their agencies, health providers, community groups and businesses shifted “online”. There were many potential benefits with this shift – but it also left a lot of people behind. In fact, from our own experience and discussions with governments and civic stakeholders, we can confidently say that levels of digital inequality – not just absolute digital exclusion – caught many organisations off guard. Levels of digital access (e.g., broadband speeds), equipment, spaces in the home to use digital kit, distribution across families, as well as individual and household digital literacies were all found to be wanting or much lower than assumed.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence and indicate if changes were made.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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