Digital Participation: A National Framework for Local Action

A national framework that underpins local action to help individuals and businesses improve levels of digital participation.

11. Measuring Success


Since 2011 when Scotland's initial digital strategy was published, technology has moved on apace. In particular, the development of apps, smart phones and tablets have changed the way people access the internet and the ease with which they are able to carry out functions. We therefore signalled in the 2012 Strategy update our intention to review and update how we measure digital participation to take account of these changes.


It remains appropriate to measure the uptake of broadband in order to assess the progress made in promoting digital participation. However, as the range and types of devices we use continues to expand, we need to consider other measures in order to ensure that we reflect consumer behaviour and enable us to benchmark our progress against other parts of Europe. We have therefore extended our information gathering in the Scottish Household Survey to allow us to understand more about the underlying attitudes and motivations of those who find themselves digitally excluded and enable us to better target the range of activities described in this paper. In addition, the Digital Public Services Measurements and Benefits Framework will measure the uptake of digital public services and the use of Mygovscot to access such services.

We already know that people have different levels of computer and internet competence. However, at present, we lack agreed measures that cover the different levels of such competence. This restricts our ability to draw comparisons between Scotland and other countries and makes it difficult to measure progress or anticipate where future gaps in competence may arise as technologies evolve. A range of methods at UK and European level do seek to define and capture different stages of digital literacy, media literacy and computer skills in the workplace, in education and in the general population and we aim to work with partners to build upon these foundations. In particular, we propose to collaborate with others to build on the common definition of basic digital literacy set out at Figure 6 and develop a similar understanding of core digital skills at different points along the digital participation pathway described at Figure 7.


In order to ensure world class levels of digital participation we will:

  • coordinate with Scottish Qualifications Authority, Skills Development Scotland, Education Scotland, the Funding Councils and other relevant partners to provide a new measurement framework that:
    • builds on the definition of digital literacy to map the digital participation skills pathway and measure progress against this continuum.
    • sets out how we will measure digital competence at various stages along the Digital Participation pathway.
    • identify how this relates to educational attainment and qualifications, workforce skills and continuing professional development.
    • will enable us to measure progress within a Scottish, UK and European context.


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