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Dublin Community ICT Initiative

This involves a series of practical initiatives by DEP following the publishing of the survey and analysis of the digital divide in Dublin (Trutz Haase, Jonathan Pratschke, Digital Divide – Uptake of ICT in the Dublin Region (2004)). The recommendations of this study were endorsed by the concluding report of the Information Society Commission, New Connections (2006). The initiatives subsequently developed by DEP focused on upskilling projects through the development of community-based ICT literacy and upskilling in disadvantaged areas of Dublin. The programme – involving peer learning through community groups on the ground – was developed jointly with FIT Ltd. for roll out across several areas of Dublin. The first round was implemented under the ASC Initiative of the Department of the Taoiseach in 2007 and was followed by two further rounds under the BenefIT Initiative of the Department of Communications in 2008-09. These DEP initiatives involved total Government investment of approx. €1.6m. Training was delivered through a total of nearly 110 community groups, Rehab and disability training centres, senior citizens flat complexes managed by Dublin local authorities, and a variety of other community centres, youth centres etc. Over the three rounds, over 5,000 people were trained with eCert skills developed by FIT.

Actions in 2008-10

  • Dublin Community ICT Initiative (commenced Nov-Dec 2007) was rolled out through 2008 funded by the Department of the Taoiseach ASC Programme, with DEP allocated a budget of €800,000.
  • Official project launch by Minister Tom Kitt TD at Dept. Taoiseach, 16th January, and first graduation ceremonies addressed by Minister Carey T.D. and Minister Brian Lenihan T.D.
  • 65 community organisations participated with 2,500 trainees completing training (FIT eCert). Activities in IT Centres in senior citizens flat complexes, centres for independent living and community IT centres (20 in total).
  • Project completed September 2008.
  • Graduation ceremonies take place with Ministers Pat Carey, Tom Kitt, Brian Lenihan and Lord Mayor Paddy Burke.
  • Evaluation report, Learning IT - An Evaluation of Dublin Community ICT Initiative (Hibernian Consulting), launched 30th May 2008 by Min. Pat Carey TD and Joyce O’Connor, Digital Hub and widely disseminated
  • A second round of the project was approved in early 2009 under the Department of Communications (BenefIT Initiative) to train a further 1,500 people through a large network of local community organisations. Funding of €300,000 received from Dept. Communications, together with €200,000 in matching funding from Dublin City Council and Digital Hub.
  • This round was implemented successfully in partnership with FIT, Dublin City Council and other partners and completed in November 2009.
  • In January 2010 DEP, FIT and DCC celebrated the successful completion of the Dublin and Mid-East Community ICT Initiative with the launch of the project’s evaluation report, Making IT Work, available in both full and summary editions, at an event hosted by Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello and addressed by Conor Lenihan TD.
  • An application submitted under the new “BenefIT 2” initiative, with match funding from Dublin City Council and nationwide partners through the IVEA, Irish Countrywomen’s Association, the Older Women’s Network and other organisations, was successful and roll out of training will being in 2010.