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Regeneration and ICT - 6

Reaching the parts other policies and activities fail to reach


Reaching those parts...

Positively promoting the part that ICT can play in regeneration activities does not mean that it is a magic wand to cure all social ills. ICT supports and enhances - and modernises - other regeneration activities.  

ICT can be used to deliver benefits to disadvantaged and socially excluded groups - such as the unemployed, the disaffected or discouraged, people with low skills, with caring responsibilities, with disabilities, or with transport difficulties. It does this essentially by being able to overcome distance and even institutional barriers in delivering services and promoting dialogue.

But perhaps most importantly, the uses of the ICT and the services on offer have to be relevant to the community. Involvement of the community from planning stage is essential.

And it is very important to have clear aims. In this article I have tried to indicate what the choices are. Too many projects suffer from trying to do to many things, or having unrealistic expectations about what the budget can do.

Adapting to maximise the benefits

The experience of regeneration projects should feed back into the organisations supporting the activities. The partners involved need to go up the ICT learning curve, and to see how their internal processes, their working practices and their communications need to evolve to get maximum value.

Questions need to be asked like:

  • Should we be eliminating paper processes?

  • How do we manage our information up to the point of its online publication? Can we improve on it?

  • Do people still have to work in the same places? Can we trade off some central property to support a facility on the front line?

  • Can people travel less for meetings and to access resources?

In the end it's all about improved service delivery, and the benefits should be felt both internally and externally. 

Intro | Employment | Business | Learning | Community-building | Conclusions

The final section outlines the importance of  effective use of ICT both for the customer and internally in regeneration partners.

See also the Flexibility Briefing paper on Equality and Access to Work.

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