UK Digital Poverty
Evidence Review 2022

Dr. Kira Allmann
for the Digital Poverty Alliance Community

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currys logo

“Digital poverty simply should not still be an issue in today’s connected world. As everyone and everything we do becomes more digitally dependent, it threatens to exclude those disconnected. At Currys, we pride ourselves on helping everyone enjoy amazing technology, through our competitive pricing, access to online and physical stores, and affordable and responsible credit offering. But that’s not all: because our social purpose is at the heart of what we do, we also support causes that help those who might otherwise be excluded. That’s why we stepped up to be one of three founders of the Digital Poverty Alliance in the UK.

Through our work with them during the pandemic, and their Tech for Teachers initiative, we helped get critical tech infrastructure to schools who without it, would have struggled to teach pupils remotely. And we aren’t stopping there. In the UK, 32% of young people are at risk of becoming increasingly disconnected because they’re unable to get access to a device when they need it.
Through our work with the new Tech4Families campaign, we’ll raise vital funds to provide a mix of new and refurbished laptops and connectivity to families who would otherwise be unable to get online.

We’re proud to be working with the Digital Poverty Alliance to eradicate digital poverty by 2030.”

Paula Coughlan, Chief People, Communications and Sustainability Officer, Currys plc

IET logo

“This evidence review is the beginning of a long journey for the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) on the road to ending digital poverty once and for all. Collating the crucial evidence gained over the last 5-10 years will provide the DPA with the evidence-based insights of complicated issues connected around digital divide today and will support the DPA in establishing its digital poverty action plan for the next phase of this important journey.”

David Lakin, IET Head of Education, Safeguarding & Education Policy

Learning Foundation logo

“When the Learning Foundation, Currys and the IET came together in 2021 we had one clear goal – to end digital poverty once and for all. To do that we first need to know what the state of play is. This report gives us a detailed and evidence-based understanding of digital poverty in the UK today. Importantly, it will allow us to develop achievable plans for how, working together, we best tackle it.”

Niel McLean, Chair, Learning Foundation

AbilityNet logo
Catylst logo
HACT logo
Movement to Work logo
IDEA logo
CWMPAS logo
Digital Leaders logo
Citizens Online logo
Joining the Dots logo
Good Things Foundation logo
SCVO logo
Currys logo
TechUK logo
Teach First logo
Digital Unite logo
CAST logo
BRC logo
LEP Network logo
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Internet Matters logo

Contents

Acknowledgments

Executive Summary

Introduction: Myths and Shifts

Review Recommendations

Methods and Evidence

Devices & Connectivity

Access

Capability

Motivation

Support and Participation

Conclusion: Reading between the Datasets

Acknowledgments

For reading or discussing earlier drafts of this report and offering comments:

  • James Beecher, Citizens Online
  • Grant Blank, Oxford Internet Institute
  • Joanna Boosey, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Amy Low, AbilityNet
  • Maurice Perks, IBM
  • Emma Stone, Good Things Foundation
  • Faye Van Flute, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Chris Winter, IBM
  • Simeon Yates, University of Liverpool

For doing interviews:

  • James Beecher, Citizens Online
  • Joanna Boosey, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Paola Serafino, Office for National Statistics
  • Emma Stone, Good Things Foundation
  • Faye Van Flute, Lloyds Banking Group

From the Digital Poverty Alliance:

  • Paul Finnis
  • Elizabeth Anderson
  • Ellie Crouch
  • Jen Gracie
  • Keelan Meade
  • Leigh Smyth
  • Tristan Wilkinson
  • Fiona Wong
  • DPA Community Board and Ambassadors
  • DPA Board and Learning Foundation Trustees
  • Lord Jim Knight and Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith