Digital Inclusion Toolkit


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline

This project, led by Leeds City Council, set out to tackle the real world challenges and chronic lack of digital capability in certain communities across the UK.

Individuals lack access to equipment, connectivity and skills, while many SMEs lack the know-how to trade successfully.

The output is a comprehensive playbook that covers a wide range of issues in providing guidance for teams planning digital inclusion projects locally, based on the experiences of the contributing organisations.

Digital Inclusion Toolkit website.
The Digital Inclusion Toolkit website homepage.

Watch a recording of the project’s lightning talk at Digital Leaders Week 2021:

Project outputs

Visit the Digital Inclusion Toolkit (external link)

Read the User Research report:

Beta report and next steps:


Contact if you are having problems accessing the outputs.

Project timeline

August 2020

The Digital Inclusion Toolkit project receives £80,000 of funding from the Local Digital C-19 Challenge.

February 2021

The project receives £125,000 of follow-on funding from the Local Digital Fund to continue their work.

In the second phase of work, the project is looking to expand the content on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit platform, and to engage potential contributors and users in a more structured way.

The team will pay particular attention to encouraging content from new organisations and on themes that are not currently covered by the experiences of existing partners. For example, this could relate to the different challenges of delivering digital inclusion programmes in rural areas.

March 2021

The project team kicked off their new project phase.

The team successfully presented to 7 regional Digital Skills Partnership coordinators and made some useful connections that will add value to their work going forward.

April 2021

The team started working with their website development team to test various plugins for notifications for users.

They also published a new contributor guide on the website.

June 2021

The team gave a presentation about their work during the Digital Leaders Week Lightning Talk session (skip to 40:35 minutes).

The project created and published a survey to learn about people’s experiences when using the Digital Inclusion Toolkit website and to better understand their user needs.

As part of their new comms strategy, the team have written several articles and promoted them on Twitter.

The team welcomed two User Researchers from Telltale research. Their first task is to identify research participants to interview.

July 2021

The User Researchers created an interview discussion guide and identified their research participants. They also revamped the survey questions that the team produced in June.

September 2021

The online survey closed and the User Researchers began to analyse the results.

A new content designer was welcomed to the team, who will use the research to improve the site content and page layouts, which will improve the user experience.

The project team held a team retro session to look back over at the work they have done in the last 6 months.

October 2021

The User Researchers played back their findings to the project team and published a blog post on their research. You can also read the full User Research report.

December 2021

The project updated and went live with changes to their website, including a new homepage, better section navigation and clearer article titles. Check out their new blog about this.

Socitm posted 2 blogs to the toolkit ‘Just getting on with it’ which discusses  locally driven approaches to digital inclusion”, covers their research into local gov digital inclusion initiatives and ‘Digital exclusion – the ghost of Christmas present’.

March 2022

The project is awarded £112,500 in follow-on funding through the Continuous Funding Model.

The project will use the funding to support the next phase utilising lessons learned from earlier in the project. This will develop and build a sustainable community of digital practitioners that can help inexperienced councils accelerate their growth towards digital maturity.

Other next steps are to:

  • get more councils committed to joining the next phase
  • validate the work from Phase 2 
  • start collecting meaningful data
  • grow their social media reach
  • try roundtable discussions

The team kicked off their new project phase by writing and posting a blog on their website ‘We’ve been awarded follow on funding!’ 

Croydon Council and Age UK will no longer be working with the team as partners, but Birmingham City Council, Dorset Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Norwich City Council will be joining the team. There will hopefully be more councils coming on board too!

The team have also welcomed new team members to support them with their next phase of work – Tim to support with comms and the team welcome back Content Designer Ben at Digital Word Communications, Interaction Designer Dave and User Researcher Alex at Telltale Research.

April-May 2022

The project kicked off their latest phase of work on Thursday 7 April.

The team published a blog post on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit website to celebrate their successful continuous funding bid, and to let people know their plans for this phase of work.

Croydon Council and Age UK will no longer be partners, but Birmingham City Council, Dorset Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Norwich City Council are now on board with hopefully more councils to follow!

The team held their first meeting with the new councils to run through the objectives of this phase and discuss ways of working together.

The team have also created a new survey that will focus on local authorities, and includes questions to help them gather time- and money-saving metrics.

Meanwhile, the User Research team have completed their first interview and have more booked in.

The team held a session to go through any outstanding development work — including adding new functionality for blogs — and a separate session to discuss project comms with their comms leads. The @diginclusionkit Twitter page will now be more active and the comms leads are also setting up a page on LinkedIn. The team is planning to post more news and updates from the wider digital inclusion world, rather than just updates about new Toolkit articles and content.

Members of the team at Leeds attended a session to generate content for articles on engaging the third sector, and finding and securing funding. They will use what came out of the session to come up with first drafts of new articles.

The team is also busy planning for their first Roundtable discussion. The discussions will enable them to get input from other councils on different digital inclusion topics, which will help them shape the Digital Inclusion website and its content.

June 2022

The team has now scheduled all 10 of the user research interviews and are busy analysing the results of the recent survey on tackling digital exclusion. They plan to playback the findings to the rest of the team on Thursday 16 June.

The team’s developer has made several improvements to the search function on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit website, including highlighted keyword matches in results and improved search weighting options.

This sprint, the team held their first roundtable discussion with members from different councils. The purpose of holding roundtables is to get input on different digital inclusion topics, to help the project shape the website and its content. The team is planning to host another roundtable on Thursday 30 June to gather input on different digital inclusion topics from other councils.

It’s been a busy sprint comms-wise, with the comms team starting to encourage conversations on Twitter and a new article entitled ‘How to involve third sector organisations and find them money’ going live on the website.

The user research team has shared a slidedeck and Miro with the group with their research findings. The user researchers are in the process of pulling together their findings in a blog post, as they did last time, which they plan to share publicly.

The team are also hoping to hold a retrospective during the next sprint, which Local Digital’s Sarah Deignan has volunteered to facilitate.

July 2022

The project recently published a new blog post, written by TellTale Research, about their user research into the digital inclusion needs of councils. They hope other councils who are working on similar projects will find it helpful and insightful.

This sprint, the team has been making changes to the news page on the development website. The improvements will go live on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit website soon, as well as a new ‘round up of sector news’ feature, where the team will pull out key information from reports and other resources. News updates will be published every Friday morning with a further ‘digest’ at the end of each month.

In addition, the team recently revisited the project’s product vision and are continuing to work on their website visitor user personas.

The product vision for the Digital Inclusion Toolkit project.

August 2022

This sprint, the project team published the new ‘News and highlights’ section to the website. This feature includes round-ups of the latest on Digital Inclusion as well as resources. Introduced following user research completed by the team, this feature will save councils time by publishing news in one central place.

The project team have also met with Sarah and Charlotte from Local Digital to discuss post funding support.

October 2022

To improve the user experience, the team recently made changes to the website, including a separate resources and case studies section.

Take a look ⬇️

The project has come to the end of their Local Digital funded phase of work. The project team has achieved their agreed outputs and will continue to seek funding from other sources. The website will be updated by members of the team on a voluntary basis.