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Moving Forward on Digital Inclusion: A framework for integrating research, policy and practice


Deborah West ,

About Deborah
Dr Deborah West is Associate Professor of Social Work and head of Social Work and Community Studies at Charles Darwin University. She has worked as a social work practitioner in both the government and non-government sectors and as a policy officer in the Australian Government. Key practice areas include aged care and ICT policy and programs. Current research areas include the role of ICT in human service provision, remote and regional service provision and environmental social work. Correspondence to: Dr Deborah West, Faculty EHS, Charles Darwin University, NT 0909, Tel: +61 8 8946 7310, Fax: +61 8 8946 6151
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David Heath

About David
Mr David Heath is social worker and researcher at Charles Darwin University. He has conducted research focusing on how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can improve the quality of life of carers and people with dementia. Participation in other research projects have included an investigation into membership and registration issues relating to the social work profession and qualitative research looking at factors which influence young people’s participation in the democratic process of voting. David Heath, Social Work & Community Studies Theme, Faculty EHS Charles Darwin University, NT 0909
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The concept of a technological divide is frequently employed to discuss and analyse the social inequities that exist in relation to the use of technology. These disparities occur across local, regional, national and international levels of society and consequences include the reduction of people’s ability to participate in the information economy. This paper reflects on the Framework for Inquiry into the Technological Divide; a social work framework to facilitate understanding and provide direction to research, policy and practice targeted at closing the technological divide. Application of the framework is discussed in light of a recent study carried out in the Northern Territory of Australia that investigated the presence of a technological divide at the care nexus of people with dementia, carers and practitioners. A summary of broader applications of the framework is also presented. Het concept “Technological Divide” wordt vaak gebruikt om sociale ongelijkheden te analyseren, die betrekking hebben op het gebruik van informatie- en communicatietechnologie. Deze ongelijkheden komen op lokaal, regionaal, nationaal en internationaal niveau voor en belemmeren onder andere de mogelijkheden die mensen hebben om deel te nemen aan de informatiesamenleving. Dit artikel reflecteert op het Framework for Inquiry into the Technological Divide. Dit framework geeft richting aan onderzoek, beleid en uitvoeringspraktijken die deze technologiekloof willen dichten. Het artikel bespreekt de toepassing van het framework in het licht van een recente studie, uitgevoerd in het Noordelijk grondgebied van Australië, die de aanwezigheid van een technologiekloof onderzocht in de samenhangende zorg door professionals en verzorgers aan mensen met dementie. Ook wordt een samenvatting van de bredere toepassingsmogelijkheden van het framework gepresenteerd.
How to Cite: West, D. and Heath, D., 2009. Moving Forward on Digital Inclusion: A framework for integrating research, policy and practice. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice, 18(2), pp.5–28. DOI:
Published on 15 Jun 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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