We have used a 'scenario' approach to explore a series of themes and business models that deliver government services to socially disadvantaged groups through multiple channels. Our overall approach is summarised here. We have used these to help us understand the complex nature of socially disadvantaged groups, since the individual citizens within them have both the characteristics of the group (for example being workless), but also may have other personal disadvantages such as particularly low skills, or have a physical or cognitive disability.
We have collected a series of case studies from across Europe. You can download them now...
We have also been exploring ‘flagship projects’ that are being identified by the ad-hoc working group on inclusive eGovernment. At Member State level this will enable us to map out existing strategies that address social disadvantage. However, as well as looking at what is being done in existing projects we need to understand what could be done to address complex needs through solutions delivered across multiple channels and by multiple agencies. Hence this focus on ‘scenarios’ where we ask how individuals with complex needs would consume the relevant service portfolio.
The above tasks will help us to identify sustainable ‘business’ models that underpin the ongoing delivery of services to those groups.
The social inclusion areas we are looking at are:
- Unemployment and worklessness: Low skills, Literacy/language skills, Long term illness/disability, Ethnic penalty/discrimination, Social capital.
- Early years disadvantage; Child poverty, Lack of social capital, Access to benefits. Families or individuals with complex and multiple needs; Information sharing, Access to services, Intermediaries.
- Educational underachievement; Low parental expectation/involvement, Deprived neighbourhoods, Access to home computer.
- Homelessness; Social isolation, Frequent moving.
- Health inequalities; Mental health stigma, Disability and independent living, Access to services.
- Elderly person with health and mobility issues
- Active ageing
- Lone parent low income household
- Special educational needs
- Migration issues
- Offender learning and skills
- Rural social exclusion
Scenario 1 Long term limiting illness
An elderly woman in her 80’s, widowed, whose children and grandchildren live abroad. She has a long term limiting illness which results in difficulties with mobility. She is dependent on state pension (or state financial support where a pension is not provided) and entitled to multiple state benefits to help her heat her house in winter, she is provided with free healthcare including free medicines. She is dealing with issues around independent living, has very limited financial means of her own. There are some suggestions that she should move into sheltered accommodation (and she does not have the independent means to pay for it) but would prefer to remain in what has been her family home. She is fearful of leaving her house not because of mobility problems, but more because of reports of rising crime in the local area. Consequently she does not go out at night, and tries to avoid places where crowds of young people hang out. Despite some local free Web access (via local a library free access point) she has never used the internet. [back to top]
Scenario 2 Active ageing
A recently retired man in his mid 60’s, who has suffered a recent heart attack, and has retired on doctor’s advice. He wishes to remain active in his local community and participate in local community activities. He wishes to improve his diet and fitness levels, again on doctor’s advice. He has independent financial means, since he is entitled to a state pension, and also has a private pension from his job. He is a regular (at least monthly) Internet user. [back to top]
Scenario 3 Lone parent low income family
A single mother of two children (one male, one female), living in a deprived estate in a large city, in a public-sector provided two-bedroom property. She has no family locally to assist with childcare as her mother is ill and her father has not been around since she was a teenager. She has not worked since having her first child, who is now three. She has trouble managing the household finances, cannot plan for longer term outgoings and is a regular smoker and drinker. She does not have a car, and uses only public transport, but the nearest bus stop is a 15 minute walk away. She uses the Internet, particularly FaceBook or other Web 2.0 services, to keep in touch with her friends since the local single parent group closed down due to lack of members. [back to top]
Scenario 4 Special educational needs
A couple have a young son, aged 10, who they feel has some form of special educational needs and challenging behavioural problems. His needs were unrecognised at his first local school and his results and attendance were poor leading to his being excluded. His parents now feel this was linked to his undiagnosed needs and are pushing the local school authority to put him forwards for an assessment of his needs. He is occasionally violent towards his family. They have a home computer with broadband access. [back to top]
Scenario 5 Migrant populations
A young man recently arrived in your country. He has gravitated towards a medium sized town, where he knows other people from his country are living. He is hoping to work to earn money to support his wife and young child and get access to property, education for his son, and healthcare for the whole family. The intention is that at some stage the family will move to join him. His local language skills currently are fairly poor; he has trouble understanding and filling in forms and has no knowledge of whether he is entitled to, or how to access translation services. He is currently living in shared accommodation in a large 4 bedroomed house in the suburbs with 7 or 8 other people from his country. In town is a mini supermarket selling food from back home, but despite this he senses there may be some difficulties integrating with the local people. He has used the Internet in the past, but has no current access. [back to top]
Scenario 6 Offender learning and skills
An offender, currently in a prison/offending institute for four months for a burglary he was involved in. He has low education and skills levels, having regularly not attended school in his teenage years and did not complete his compulsory education. Since leaving school he has been a regular low level offender (mainly theft and vandalism), and mixes with a group of similar characteristics in his home area. He is currently working in the kitchens at the offenders’ institute and is looking into options for his forthcoming release. [back to top]
Scenario 7 Homelessness
A middle-aged homeless person, who has lost their job and with it their ability to afford independent accommodation. They move regularly between local shelters for the homeless, having moved to the nearest city where there are slightly improved services for homeless people compared with their own local area. They are far away from friends and family and do not have a job. They are a regular smoker and drinker with associated health problems, and have previously but unsuccessfully accessed help for these addiction problems. [back to top]
Scenario 8 Rural social exclusion
A low income family, 2 adults and 3 children aged between 1-5 years living and working in a relatively remote and under-developed rural area, which has limited access to services, and poor quality healthcare. ICT infrastructure is probably also limited. Parents have experienced periods of unemployment and both have relatively low levels of skills or educational attainment. [back to top]