DESI 2019 report highlights Creative Communities for Digital Inclusion
For the second year in a row, INCoDe.2030 project “Comunidades Criativas para a Inclusão Digital” (CCID - Creative Communities for Digital Inclusion) has been highlighted on the scope of the European Commission's 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). This is an initiative of undeniable importance, as it is part of the "Human Capital" indicator, the one presented in the DESI 2019 report as "a major obstacle for Portugal if it is to achieve its policy goals in terms of both social cohesion and economic competitiveness".
Five categories group 31 indicators which form the European Index, presented since 2014 by the European Commission in the scope of the Digital Single Market.
Portugal remains at the 2018 position, 19th, with Finland leading and Bulgaria closing the Index. "Digital Public Services" is the best indicator nationwide, with 71,4 points compared to EU 62,9 points, boosted by the significant increase of online users in the public administration.
In both "Connectivity" and "Integration of Digital Technology", Portugal is closer to the European average (57,9 compared to EU 59,3, and 42,8 compared to 41,19, respectively), with an improvement in take-up rates for both fixed and mobile ultrafast broadband services, and also progress regarding companies' use of cloud computing services.
With regard to the "Use of the Internet", Portugal falls short in the Index (44,5 points compared to EU 53,4), which may be explained, partially, by the high number of not-frequent Internet users (23% in Portugal, twice the European average).
However, "Human Capital" has the longest way to go: compared to EU average of 48 points, Portugal registers 35,2. In this context, the CCIDs (Action Line 1 - Inclusion) seek to tackle factors such as socioeconomic inequalities, gender, age and special needs, among others. There are 10 communities throughout the country, under five model types: municipal plans for digital inclusion, mobile, intergenerational, start-ups, and networks. The CCID pilot, "Somos Douro", was launched in May 2018 in Tabuaço, Viseu.
While the EU average stands at 52,5 points, Portugal reaches 49.2 in 2019, a slightly higher score than in 2018 (46,8 points). The European Commission underlines that Portugal is taking relevant measures to further modernize public services with the help of digital technologies, and is one of the EU's leaders in this field. It also points out that it is unlikely that, the relatively large percentage of the Portuguese population rarely or not using Internet, will benefit from the country's digital public services.
INCoDe.2030 - National Digital Competences Initiative e2030, launched in 2017, is a government program aimed at the development of public policies, actions and initiatives to strengthen digital skills across the whole of Portuguese society and thus contribute to improving those indicators where there are vulnerabilities.