Digital Throughout Life

Strategies and Action Plans

Author: Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation

Norway’s national strategy, ‘Digital Throughout Life,’ provides a strong framework for enhancing digital competence and participation across its population. The strategy’s primary goal is to prevent digital exclusion by ensuring all citizens develop sufficient digital competence to participate in society equally.

Key Components of the Strategy

Definition and Importance of Digital Competence

  • Levels of Competence: The strategy identifies three levels of digital competence:
    1. Basic users who can perform simple digital operations and understand basic netiquette.
    2. Intermediate users who can integrate digital tools into various settings and are aware of more complex digital judgment issues.
    3. Advanced users who are capable of using complex digital tools and can quickly adapt to new technologies.
  • Digital Judgement: This is emphasised as a critical component of digital competence, involving the ability to use digital tools safely and responsibly, recognise potential security risks, and protect personal information.

2. Digital Exclusion and Inclusion Efforts

  • Statistics on Digital Use: Despite a high general level of digital engagement (92% daily internet usage among certain age groups), there is concern about the 130,000 people who remain digitally disconnected.
  • Targeted Groups: Efforts are primarily directed towards elderly citizens, vulnerable groups, and non-Western immigrants who are at higher risk of digital exclusion.

3. Strategic Measures for Enhancing Digital Skills

  • Digidel Programme: Offers training and guidance in basic digital skills, developed through collaborations among various organisations, including governmental bodies and educational institutions.
  • Municipal Digihjelpen Services: A service that provides digital assistance at the local level, helping individuals with little or no digital competence.

4. Grants and Funding

  • Available Grant Schemes: The document details several grant schemes aimed at improving digital competence, including funding for organizations like Seniornett and for initiatives that provide digital training to elderly citizens.
  • Financial Distribution: More than NOK 50 million has been allocated to various initiatives since 2014 to bolster digital participation.

5. Implementation and Coordination

  • Action Plan: A concrete action plan is to be developed, outlining specific measures to increase digital participation.
  • Cross-Sector Cooperation: Emphasizes the need for collaboration between ministries, public sector agencies, and private enterprises to implement the strategy effectively.

6. Challenges and Risks

  • Sustainability and Adaptation: The document recognizes the need for the strategy to be adaptable to changing technological environments and to sustain funding and resources.
  • Coverage and Reach: Ensuring that the digital inclusion efforts reach the most vulnerable and geographically isolated individuals remains a significant challenge.

7. Future Directions

  • Oversight and Leadership: The possibility of designating a specific public agency to oversee the implementation of the national digital competence efforts is considered.
  • Regular Assessments: Plans include regular assessments of the population’s digital competence to adapt and redirect efforts as needed.