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The Southgate Digital Equity Tool has been developed to assist policy makers and practitioners in making informed decisions about the way they engage consumers in services and programs in the digital era. Initially developed for use by health organisations, the tool can be adapted for use by any organisation to guide thinking around the impact of traditional and digital communication on different client/consumer/population groups, with a focus on the impact of shifting to, or increasing, digital engagement with them. The basis for the tool is the assumption that digital engagement strategies will impact on client/consumer groups differently, with a differential impact on intended outcomes, especially on accessibililty of services, information and participation. The tool can be used to examine one strategy or a set of communication strategies which address a particular issue, a geographic area, a group or a population.

Part 1 is a Workbook and Part 2 is a Guide to assist in completing the Workbook, including descriptions and examples.

The digital equity tool can help you and your organisation to examine:

(1) The current mix of communication and engagement modes across a certain service or issue;

(2) A proposed change in this mix;

(3) The impact of a change in mix retrospectively;

(4) Mitigation strategies to limit negative impacts.

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