When public health requires social distancing and even quarantine, closing the digital divide becomes central to our safety and economic security. The Digital Inclusion Network (DIN) has been collaboratively working under the Digital Equity Action Plan framework to overcome barriers faced by under-served populations to affordable, high-speed Internet access, owning a device, and to building confidence to use these tools effectively and safely. As a result of COVID-19 many DIN members are having to shift, re-prioritize, and innovate new ways to serve. As a result, DIN members expressed a desire to be able to share with each other, and the broader community, the efforts undertaken, the ideas brewing, and the needs/challenges they are facing. To quickly respond to this request we have developed an "Action Tracker" and "Resource Document" for DIN members to begin sharing their activities and needs and for us to provide updates on policies, programs, and services that have come online in response to the health crisis.
The Action Tracker is our short term response to tracking digital equity needs and actions and we envision this pilot Digital Inclusion Dashboard, which uses GIS maps of digital inclusion conditions and DIN/DEAP actions, as our longer term solution to tracking impact, ensuring our actions are leading with race, identifying gaps in service and who we are serving, and using the information to evolve, enhance, and re-direct actions and policy to lead with racial equity. If you'd like to learn more, get involved in the dashboard project design and give feedback, help populate with data and measurable goals, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.