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ODPM Researches Digital Divide

23 July 2003

The Deputy Prime Minister's Office has commissioned research into how leading-edge councils are harnessing eGovernment and technology to reach socially-excluded groups.

The seven-month project, conducted by De Montfort University, will focus initially on the work of Derwentside District Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Sunderland City Council, Liverpool City Council, and Cambridgeshire County Council - five of the seven local authorities awarded Beacon status in April under the 'Social Inclusion Through ICT' theme.  At least five further local authorities will be included in the second stage of the project.

Dr Tim Brown, Project Leader, said the aim would be "to identify and promote excellent practice in using information communications technology to tackle the digital divide."  Researchers will examine the best ways for the public to access eGovernment and which delivery mediums - such as website and digital TV - are best suited to promote trust and the capability for people to tap into local government services.

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