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DIGital traNsport In and for socieTY

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DIGNITY (DIGital traNsport In and for socieTY)

Reporting period: 2021-07-01 to 2022-12-31

The DIGNITY project key objective was to delve into the digital transport eco-system to grasp the full range of factors that might lead to disparities in the uptake of digitalized mobility products and services by different user groups in Europe. Presenting the challenges brought about by digitalization, the aim was to design, test and validate the DIGNITY approach, an original concept and methodology that seeks to become the ‘ABCs for a digital inclusive travel system’. The intent was to provide a unique framework for analysis and action to: 1) support public and private mobility providers in conceiving mainstream digital products or services that are accessible to and usable by as many people as possible, regardless of their income, social situation or age; and 2) help policy makers formulate long-term strategies that promote innovation in transport while responding to global social, demographic and economic changes, including the challenges of poverty and migration.
The building of the DIGNITY approach followed a step-by-step approach. During this process, a series of strategic objectives were set:
a) To understand the factors leading to the existing digital gap between mobility service provision and uptake by different user groups by looking at both users’ and providers’ requirements within the current digital travel eco-system;
b) To quantify the digital gap in a selected number of Member States by gathering new data on how many people - and which people - are excluded from using technology products, in order to identify gaps in provision, and to highlight and prioritise issues that require resolution;
c) To conceive an original concept to frame the digital gap in metropolitan and regional contexts, considering all the elements that are part of the digital transport ecosystem, namely: the institutional framework (macro level), the provision of digital mobility (meso level) and the needs of the end-user (micro level). This concept will then be tested in a selected number of DIGNITY pilots across Europe (Barcelona -ES, Ancona, IT, Tilburg -NL, Flanders -BE) ;
d) To adapt the Inclusive Design Wheel from the University of Cambridge, a proven methodology for the co-design of products and services to the context of digital mobility. This method will then be tested on a selected number of digital products to conceive new prototypes in the DIGNITY pilots;
e) To adapt foresight methodologies to the context of digital mobility andanalyse how a structured involvement of all actors of the digital travel ecosystem in a scenario-building process can help formulating robust and inclusive policies for current and future generations. This will be tested in the DIGNITY pilots;
f) To evaluate the potential of the combination of points c, d, and e in the formulation of long-term strategies and the impacts generated in the selected pilots; and to validate the DIGNITY approach as an original DSS for further exploitation and replication;
g) To draw conclusions from the DIGNITY process and distill recommendations for the formulation of digitally inclusive transport policies and for a more inclusive design of digital mobility services (the DIGNITY toolkit);
h) To disseminate and exploit DIGNITY research and the knowledge acquired to a broad European audience, in order to raise awareness of the social implications of digitalisation and to encourage the adoption of the DIGNITY approach.
The DIGNITY team has managed to finalise:
• A comprehensive literature review and a compilation of a catalogue of good practices of inclusive mobility products (D1.1 and D1.3 respectively).
• A set of five national surveys (Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands and Flanders) on the factors influencing the use of digital products and services, followed by an in-depth analysis of the data collected (D1.2).
• The conception of the methodologies that constitute the backbone of the DIGNITY approach: the tool to frame the digital gap (D2.1) and the guidelines to implement the Inclusive Design Wheel and the scenario building approach for the bridging phase (D2.2 and D2.3 respectively).
• The full report of activities, results and lessons learned describing the ‘Framing the digital gap’ phase in pilot cities and regions (D3.1).
• The full report of activities, results and lessons learned describing the ‘Bridging phase’ in pilot cities and regions testing the two key co-creation methodologies of DIGNITY: the IDW (D3.3) and the Scenario Building (D3.4).
• The four long-term strategies for an inclusive digital ecosystem (D3.5) in the pilot cities/regions.
• A ‘Pilot cases evaluation report’ (D4.2) describing the overall assessment process followed and the specific results for each one of the pilots.
• A ‘DIGNITY Framework Validation Report’ (D4.3) analysing in depth each one of the methodologies employed and the DIGNITY approach as a whole, in order to assess its performance, validity and potential for replicability.
• The DIGNITY Toolkit (D4.6) the final product of the project available for use by any external party (city, region or product/service provider) wishing to undertake a process to bridge the digital transport gap.
• A set of final Recommendations (D4.5) co-created by the diversity of DIGNITY partners, thus reflecting the needs of researchers, policy makers, service providers and end users.
• A series of three publications in an agile language to reach as many (non-scientific) people as possible. They explain the framing (D5.5) and bridging (D5.6) phases, as well as the gender gap in mobility (D5.7).
The formulation of the DIGNITY approach has led to a series of advances in knowledge, specifically:
- A better understanding of the digital divide across Europe and the key factors contributing to it. The collection of population level data on user factors that affect people’s use of digital products and services in five EU countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany), combined with the collection of examples of existing digital mobility services across Europe and the quantification of their inclusiveness has provided a holistic perspective on who is excluded from using a particular digital product or service and why. Besides, the results demonstrate that large parts of the population cannot access digital technologies or lack the knowledge and skills required to use them effectively (D1.2).
- A better understanding of the gender differences in the adoption of digital mobility solutions (D4.5).
Moreover, the building of the DIGNITY approach, provided for novel concepts and approaches and the adaptation of existing methodologies for inclusive digital products and policies. This resulted in:
- An original methodology and a set of guidelines for a digital gap self-assessment
- An adapted methodology and a set of guidelines for inclusive design processes for digital products and services. The guidelines will be established starting from the Inclusive Design Wheel developed by the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge as part of the Inclusive Design Toolkit and adapted to the DIGNITY context.
- An adapted methodology and a set of guidelines for setting long-term digital transport policies and strategies in metropolitan/regional contexts using the scenario-building process.
- Finally, DIGNITY raised awareness of this concept, contributing to building a 'culture of dignity' for all the actors in the digital transport ecosystem.