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How does digital exclusion differ across the UK and internationally?

Monday 23 March 2023

The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee will tomorrow take evidence from the witnesses from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Estonia and Iceland as it explores different approaches to tackling digital exclusion.

The Committee will explore how different areas have sought to improve digital inclusion. The Committee hear about the experiences of Estonia and Iceland, which are often cited as particularly digitally advanced.

The evidence sessions start from 2:30pm on Tuesday 14 March 2023 in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords. Giving evidence to the Committee will be:  


  • Professor Hamish Laing, Chair, Digital Inclusion Alliance Wales
  • Sally Dyson, Head of Digital and Development, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Róisín Wood OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation Northern Ireland


  • Kristina Reinsalu, Programme Director of e-Democracy, e-Governance Academy, Estonia
  • Róbert Bjarnason, President, Citizens Foundation Iceland
  • Professor Ellen Helsper, Professor of Digital Inequalities, London School of Economics and Political Science

In the first session questions will cover the extent of digital exclusion in the devolved nations and how far their governments have prioritised tackling it. The Committee will also ask the witnesses to describe programmes in their areas that have been successful and what the UK government can learn from them.

In the second session the Committee will explore how the UK performs internationally on digital exclusion and lessons it could learn from other countries. Witnesses will also be asked about the motivations behind Iceland and Estonia prioritising digital transformation programmes and how that is managed to ensure people unable or unwilling to access services online do not lose out.

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