In 2016, the City of Portland, Multnomah County and Multnomah County Library (“Initiative Partners”), in collaboration with various community partners (schools, businesses, non-profits, etc.) came together to implement a collective impact initiative focused on addressing the digital divide for under-served and vulnerable residents throughout Multnomah County (www.portlandoregon.gov/DEAP).
In 2019 the Initiative Partners embarked on a process to develop the next phase of the DEAP. The DEAP 2.0 will be formally presented to the Portland City Council, Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners and Multnomah County Library District Board for adoption.
In March 2020, Digital Inclusion Network members met to reflect on successes, challenges, gaps & opportunities of the DIN and the DEAP over the past 3 years, and brainstorm priorities/goals/outcomes for the Phase 2 plan. Feedback from the event is summarized as follows:
1) Equity-based Pubic Policy
- Members know the importance of equity- based policy and seek the authority to directly impact this area.
- Digital Inclusion Network desires for local government to be a champion for digital equity through listening and creating public policy that reflects community input.
- Policy should be a higher priority before other goals.
- Members view that lack of access to sustainable funding as a barrier to taking on new digital activities.
- The network needs more access to micro grants that do NOT dictate how the funding should be spent.
- Hold an annual Reflections session to reassess goals. This will at least aid in keeping up with the pace of technology industry change.
- Improve the communication system by leveraging technology for opportunities via a database:
- To share voice of the community Ongoing mechanism to track goal progress/successes
- Seek out new governance models for the Digital Inclusion Network.
- Create opportunities for community leadership and decision-making
- Some data fatigue is arising due to multiple, redundant surveys highlighting problems that were previously identified.
6) Digital Inclusion Network
- The diversity of the Digital Network is more welcoming and members feel they can participate during any phase of a meeting without pre-meeting information.
- The community-based organizations can be more powerful leveraging each other via the Digital Inclusion Network.
- Expand the membership of the Digital Inclusion Network to include community liaisons,
Digital Equity Anti-Racism Initiative
Following initial one-on-one anonymous interviews between DIN members and Hurdle Consulting, DIN members and their executive staff attended 4 2-hour professional development experiences designed to provide tools to do the personal work necessary to address systemic racism and our collective digital equity efforts.