Technology and inequality: project evidence hub

The materials in this evidence hub look at how advances in digital technology mitigate or exacerbate existing inequalities, as well as how existing inequalities pose challenges for access, skills and uptake related to digital technology. The evidence here has been produced through the activities related to our Technology and Inequality project, and the hub is updated on an ongoing basis as we receive new materials and new findings emerge.

Digital Technology and Inequality: Policy Insight Case Studies

Three case study-based research projects commissioned as part of the British Academy's work on Digital Technology and Inequality.

Digital Technology and Inequality: Policy Insight Case Studies

In April 2023, the British Academy funded three case study-based research projects as part of the Digital Technology and Inequality project. These projects aimed to draw upon the SHAPE disciplines to highlight clear and practical lessons for policymakers at local, regional and national levels for tackling digital inequalities, developing digital inclusion programmes, and supporting digital inclusion networks.

Understanding Digital Poverty and Inequality in the UK

A summary of insights from our evidence reports

Understanding Digital Poverty and Inequality in the UK

In 2022, the British Academy commissioned six projects that examined different aspects of digital poverty in the UK, to inform policy thinking around the crucial challenge of addressing inequality – and specifically, the relationship between digital technology and inequality – across the UK. This report highlights the central themes and findings that emerge across the evidence base of outputs produced by the commissioned projects and uses these findings to identify six policy lessons to shape policy thinking on how to effectively address digital poverty and its impacts across the UK.

Policy workshops

During the duration of the projects, we also held two policy workshops that brought together project teams with members of the policy, practice and research communities working to understand and address digital inequality. Project teams presented their ongoing work and received feedback from one another and participants, and attendees discussed connections and contrasts across the commissioned projects. Insights from these workshops were used to inform the write-up of the summary report. We shared our emerging thinking with policy stakeholders (in both local authorities and central government) throughout the duration of the project and used insights from these conversations to feed into our work.

At the end of the projects, draft outputs of the commissioned projects were shared amongst research teams, and teams provided feedback on the full set of reports and identified important common insights or gaps in thinking to inform the summary report. Our Technology and Inequality Working Group also reviewed drafts of the project outputs and summary report.

Technology and Inequality Roundtable Series

Summary of discussions

In November 2022, the British Academy hosted a roundtable series that explored how digital technologies can be used to deliver public services more equitably and improve policies to tackle inequality.

The British Academy convened three roundtable events focused on the question “How can digital technologies be harnessed to improve policies that tackle inequality, their design, and the equitable delivery of public services?” Each roundtable convened a different set of stakeholders: (1) local authorities, (2) central government, and (3) private sector and civil society organisations. This document summarises the key insights that emerged from these three events.

Digital technology, inequality and the role of government: evidence submissions

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