In 2009, there were over 10m adults in the UK who had never been online. The Government appointed Martha Lane Fox (MLF) as the UK’s Digital Champion to provide leadership and direction for the many initiatives underway to increase digital participation.
The digital champion hired a small team and together they established a programme of work and a campaign – Race Online 2012– to convince others to take action to help millions more people online. They invited organisations to become partners of the campaign, and positioned themselves as leaders of the agenda (not deliverers). By using a partnership approach they sought to maximise their funding, which was insufficient for large-scale delivery.
In addition to promoting digital participation, the Digital Champion has also provided, and continues to provide, advice to the government on delivering higher-quality digital public services at lower cost.
MLF commissioned Capgemini to undertake an independent evaluation of the work of her and her team over the last two and a half years. The intention is for the evaluation to be used as a reference document by governments, other independent champions and those engaged in the task of increasing digital participation.