EURIM Social Exclusion Working Group


EURIM's Social Exclusion Working Group was active from 2002-2004. 

ICT has the capability to address many of the problems of social exclusion, but new technologies and their implementation also have the capacity to create new forms of exclusion and exacerbate some existing problems.  The objective of this group was to identify and promote the actions needed to ensure that e-technologies and services advance the needs and interests of all citizens - educationally, economically and culturally - regardless of age, class, race or disability.  The work of the group is now finished but these pages are the archive for that activity.


Introduction and Terms of Reference

Meeting details,  Agendas, Tabled Papers and Minutes

Group Outputs (Published Papers and Briefings)

Other Relevant Documents & Links



Government has made an overt commitment to addressing social exclusion problems with the Deputy Prime Minister's Social Exclusion Unit.  Current priorities focus on transport, education and runaways but neither they, nor others active in the debate, are approaching these issues from a perspective that fully considers the role of ICT in this agenda.  ICT is not necessarily neutral with regard to social exclusion.  ICT technologies will underpin the vast majority of interactions, including those between the citizen and government, and will change the nature of those interactions in socially significant ways.  In fact they may themselves introduce or promote new forms of exclusion.  


Social Exclusion Group

The Social Exclusion group is a sub-group of EURIM's Modernising Government working party.  The group membership includes parliamentarians, civil servants, corporates, small firms, trade associations, professional bodies and charities and represents a wide range of perspectives on the social exclusion agenda.  This puts EURIM members in an excellent position to inform debate in this area. The group is chaired by Dr Paul Jackson of CIPFA. The Rapporteur is Emma Fryer.


Group Terms of Reference and objectives

To identify and promote the actions needed to ensure that e-technologies/services advance the needs and interests of all citizens - educationally, economically and culturally - regardless of age, class, race or disability.

The group has been tasked with scoping the issue of social exclusion as it relates to ICT and identifying the key policy issues that need urgent attention from government.  The group aims to produce an overview or simple status report that defines terms, identifies these issues and sets them into context and gives some positive suggestions on implementing improvements. The group is also helping information exchange by developing a conduit for discussion between those at the coal face and those responsible for policy


Outcomes sought by the Group

         A sharper understanding of the different 'divides' that may exist or arise from developments in e-technologies/services, with particular attention to:

o        The groups involved

o        The specific issues facing them

o        The interrelations between these groups and issues

         Greater co-ordination from government on addressing the e-inclusion agenda

         Greater awareness among developers/producers of e-technologies & services as to how social inclusion issues can be addressed or pre-empted

         A greater awareness of how e-technologies & services themselves might be used to address social inclusion issues


Group Deliverables

The group's deliverables are:

1.       Assess the current situation by identifying the different conceptual approaches (social exclusion means different things to different people) and the work that has already been done as a baseline.

2.       Identify current blockages to social inclusion - eg the lack of appropriate user interfaces.

3.       Identify what technology itself can do to help address these blockages.