Digital exclusion research project for Dumfries and Galloway provides some surprises

Motivation is now one of the leading reasons for digital exclusion across Dumfries and Galloway.

Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway associate Stuart Harrison, chief executive officer Norma Austin Hart and project manager Natalie Anderson present the interim report
Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway associate Stuart Harrison, chief executive officer Norma Austin Hart and project manager Natalie Anderson present the interim report

The finding was presented in the interim results of a nationally important digital exclusion research project for the region.

Charities and community groups helped feed in almost 900 responses from individuals to the project, led by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway (TSDG).

An update was presented to key policy makers ahead of the report’s full launch in September.

The research discovered that only two per cent of those that took part have no access to the internet.

Even less – just over one per cent - believed they needed further skills to do basic digital tasks.

But, nearly a third of people prefer not to use online transactions and value more traditional methods, such as face-to-face.

Although overall access was no longer the main issue, other more specific hurdles were highlighted such as: cost, connectivity, and speed; frequency of access; and the age and quality of the device.

Norma Austin Hart, TSDG’s chief operating officer, said: “Digital exclusion is complex and affects people of all ages and backgrounds and this research is providing some surprises.

“The final report and its recommendations will have implications for how we approach the subject in the third sector and we hope the public sector will also make full use of the findings.”

The interim report is based on analysis of about half the data categories with the rest covered in the final report.