What works to improve digital inclusion among resettled refugees?
Evidence Database | Advanced Evidence Search | Evidence Summaries
Among digital inclusion programs serving marginalized populations, there is strong evidence for common elements of success as well as common barriers. Programs serving refugees should incorporate these evidence-based elements.
- Successful digital inclusion programs for marginalized populations share the following characteristics: social support, collaborative learning, hands-on experience, inclusive program design, a multi-faceted approach, and simple user interfaces.
- There are several common barriers to digital inclusion of marginalized populations: access (connection, speed, and coverage); skill (ability to use hardware and software); and attitude (interest, motivation, and trust).
Among programs serving refugees specifically, suggestive evidence provides support for certain program models.
- Public libraries, schools, and community centers are vital sources of digital access for refugees. Refugee service providers should collaborate with these sources of digital access and skills training.
- Laptop and tablet provision programs are also important sources of digital access, and these should be explored by refugee service providers.
- Digital inclusion of refugees likely occurs intergenerationally. Children in immigrant families serve as digital conduits and interpreters for their parents; yet, children’s computer use may conflict with parental expectations. These intergenerational family implications should be considered in digital inclusion programming.
- Despite this suggestive evidence, refugee voices are underrepresented in digital inclusion program planning. More participatory project design is needed.
Future research should examine the long-term impacts of digital inclusion, as well as the potential for promoting digital inclusion remotely.
- Further research is needed on longer-term outcomes of digital inclusion as well as the impact of digital inclusion on other outcomes, such as health and economic well-being.
- With remote learning increasing, research should examine the potential of digital inclusion via remote learning.
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