February 29, 2024

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Philadelphia, U.S. Launches Digital Equity Plan

Philadelphia launched its first Digital Equity Plan, laying out key goals and strategies to address the issues that contribute to the digital divide. The plan represents the city’s commitment to addressing the inequities that contribute to the digital divide including issues of affordability, digital literacy and support, housing insecurity, and language, cultural, and racial barriers. The Plan builds upon a strong foundation of work established by the city’s Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT).

The plan describes how the city will address affordability and access to broadband and devices. It also tackles barriers of language, race, limited digital literacy skills, disabilities – the factors that contribute to the digital divide in Philadelphia. It is intended to serve as a roadmap for digital equity for the next five years.

Key strategies include building the city’s capacity to advance digital equity through existing programs, gaining support from state and local governments and creating revenue-generating streams to support digital equity programs. Consistent benchmarking will inform strategic planning, so the city plans to conduct an annual household internet survey to identify broadband access gaps, collect data on new and existing broadband infrastructure and develop emerging tech solutions to improve digital equity.

The city also aims to incorporate subsidized broadband services into a broader universal benefits application. It plans to help city departments move to web-based forms, support residents with low digital literacy and work with the health sector to encourage residents to use digital care tools.  While Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology has focused on digital equity for over 10 years, the pandemic brought these issues into the spotlight.

The pandemic has shown that internet and device access is essential for daily living—including accessing health care and government services, closing the homework gap, and supporting a 21st century workforce. The creation of the Digital Equity Plan and the official decree of the policy will help the City better address the various issues that contribute to the digital divide. Philadelphia’s digital equity work now has a strong foundation through better resourcing, strategies, goals, and an overall understanding of the city’s needs.

An executive order called for the city’s agencies to use their “assets and infrastructure to develop accessible and reliable digital solutions for Philadelphia residents.” The city will also leverage public, private, philanthropic and community support to coordinate access to computers, broadband internet and digital literacy programs.

Philadelphia will continue its diligent work toward establishing digital equity for all. As the city works to achieve digital access for all Philadelphians, we will continue to invest in and support resources within the OIT to drive this work as well as expand cross-departmental collaboration to implement the policy and plan.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, When it comes to the quest for an equitable distribution of services in states and localities as well as diversity and inclusion in their workforces, the specifics of the challenge varies from place to place. But one common theme has emerged: In order to truly understand the problems that need to be solved, leaders must have the necessary data in hand.

One other promising tool was recently introduced through a partnership between the Government Alliance on Race and a software firm that specialises in geographic information system software, location intelligence and mapping. The new social equity analysis tool provides a geospatial mapping approach that can be used to visualise areas of focus, evaluate the community-level impact and guide government decision making. It will enable governments to use an intersectional lens to identify patterns of need and opportunities to enhance equity through an examination of geography, race, ethnicity, disability, gender and other areas of interest.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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