We’ve got the data – now we need to work together

Next week, we’re holding a research symposium together with LSE Media Policy Project. I’ve written a blog for them here on my thoughts about the digital skills landscape and what I’m hoping we can gain from the symposium. I’ve shared this post below. 

There are a lot of people who’ve got a stake in digital skills, as Ellen’s already mentioned in the blog she posted earlier this week. In a lot of ways, this is great. Every little helps when getting people online and so the more people that can help, the better!

The only downside is that, with lots of different partners all working single-handedly to bridge the digital divide, we can sometimes get a bit caught up in doing our own thing and can forget to pop our heads up and remind everyone else just what, why and how effective what we’re doing is.

Here at UK online centres we’re pretty good at measuring the impact of the work we’re doing. In fact, measuring the social impact of the work we do in communities is something we’ll be really stepping up in the coming months, and this is something we’ll tell you more about at the symposium.

We’re good at measuring our impact, because we know how important it is – to us, to our partners and most importantly to our funders. Most of the partners we work with are pretty good at measuring their impact too. But the issue for me, and what I’m hoping we can address at the symposium, is one of collaboration.  In order to be sure of the real impact we’re having on influencing behaviour, we have to share our knowledge, expertise and findings so we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.

The list of attendees for the symposium is pretty impressive, and I’m sure all of you attending will be really keen to share what you’ve been doing – and I don’t blame you! I’m sure it will be a fantastic forum to bring together a like-minded group of people so we can all make sure we’re working to a similar goal. I can’t wait to see you there!

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