Mobile devices, messaging apps and online platforms can be powerful tools for organisations delivering services, communicating with, and empowering different communities. When utilised effectively, these technologies can support the wellbeing of individuals through increased participation, access to resources and enabling meaningful connection. We have seen this use of digital in service provision only intensify since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with this increasing use comes challenges. The development and use of these technologies often outpace the organisational structures put in place to improve delivery and protect both individuals and organisations.
Digitally Kind is a new resource from the Carnegie UK Trust, devised to help bridge the gaps between digital policy, process and practice to improve outcomes, and introducing kindness as a value to underpin an organisational approach.
Based on workshops with over 40 practitioners and frontline staff, the report has been designed as a starting point to support organisations open up conversations around their use of digital in delivering services. Digitally Kind explores a range of technical, social and cultural considerations around the use of tech when working with individuals including: What existing internal policies and procedures impact the way staff interact with digital? Is new technology the default solution when issues arise in service delivery? Are ‘free’ technologies impact assessed in the same way as paid-for services?
While this project predominantly focused on practitioners and organisations working with young people, many of the principles hold for other sectors. The research also highlights a short set of considerations for funders, policymakers (including regulators) and online platforms.