Groups formed to bridge digital divide, get companies to do good

The digital divide came into sharp relief when Covid-19 forced people to stay home, with some lower-income families scrambling for computers for home-based learning and seniors unable to connect with families online.

Seized by this issue, several participants of the Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations got together to work on a portal to get digital devices to these segments of the population.

The portal, which will be ready by April next year, will allow organisations and community groups that want to donate devices to list their schemes, and be matched with those who need the devices.

The project comes under an Alliance for Action led by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG). It was formed after participants in the discussion series expressed concern about the digital divide and decided to step up.

Ms Meng Fong, 56, executive director of RSVP, a group for senior volunteers, said participating in the alliance would help her organisation's programmes gain wider reach, but also provide more opportunities for its senior volunteers to pick up new technology.

The SNDGG is also involved in another alliance, which will work to expand the free offerings on the #SmartNationTogether learning platform, such as lessons for working adults and seniors, and webinars, provided by more than 50 business and community organisations.

More details will be available next month.

Another Alliance for Action on Corporate Purpose, led by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre and comprising businesses and corporate social responsibility leaders, will work to develop a national framework and blueprint that will guide companies "to do good strategically, sustainably and impactfully".

Tham Yuen-C

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2021, with the headline Groups formed to bridge digital divide, get companies to do good. Subscribe