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Digital Inclusion

Enabling digital participation, inclusion and literacy in an increasingly digital economy.

The Digital Inclusion program aims to widen digital participation, build equity and inclusion in the digital economy. This program enables us to measure the impact of technologies at an individual, organisational and government level.

Led by Associate Professor Anthony McCosker, the Digital Inclusion program is focusing on:

  • Marginalised groups and the digitally disconnected;
  • The services, programs and interventions that seek to support them.

This is because digital technologies are ubiquitous and almost all social services are provided online. It is therefore critical that all societal groups have access to technology, connectivity and have the digital and data literacy skills to participate equally.


Current projects 

Projects within Digital Inclusion that are currently underway:

  • Mapping Humanitarian Action (with Australian Red Cross, see below for more information)
  • Evaluating Be Connected: Digital Literacies for Older Australians
  • Evaluation of a Peer Support Platform for People with Low Vision and Blindness
  • SOPHIA (Social Outcomes of Policy: Helpful Intelligence & Analytics), Charting Community Responses to Family Violence 2014-2018
  • OPERA (Older People: Equity, Respect and Aging), Adressing Elder Abuse through Digital Stories
  • Safety Risk and Wellbeing on Digital Dating Apps.

Mapping humanitarian action (with Australian Red Cross)

Every day, people undertake many different kinds of voluntary service and humanitarian action. This might involve fundraising and charity work, giving time, helping or inspiring others, or promoting causes. However, because so much of the research on volunteering and humanitarian action focuses on formal activities along with large-scale campaigns and global crisis events, we know very little about what people are doing informally and in their local community.

Humanitarianism is changing with the digital age and with new modes of networked communication and interaction. Working hand in hand with the Australian Red Cross, and using  Instagram as a novel data source, the research carried out in this project offers new insights into the way people engage with humanitarian activities in their local contexts and everyday lives,

Completed projects


60+ Online: Engaging seniors through social media and digital stories.

Many older Australians are embracing digital technologies for health and social life. But many people still have limited understanding and access. Our researchers, led by Associate Professor Anthony McCosker, partnered with TelstraCity of Boroondara and Knox City Council to engage with older people to learn in ways they like.

The 60+ Online project developed ways to improve and sustain seniors’ use of digital technologies. It used problem-based, creative digital storytelling and social media workshops. Participants interacted on a closed Facebook group, where they learned, safely, how to manage social accounts and experiment. Project participants reported enhanced social connectedness and interaction through digital channels with community groups and health services.

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement in Disability Services

Indigenous Australians are at substantially higher risk of experiencing a disability or restrictive long-term health condition compared to non-Indigenous Australians. Yooralla disability services has partnered with the Social Innovation Research Institute to discover how they can more effectively and respectfully engage and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with a disability.

This Indigenous-led multidisciplinary team, working with the First Peoples Disability Network, aims to gain a better understanding of the barriers to accessing disability services experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The goal of this collaboration is to positively impact the efforts of disability service providers and advocacy groups in their pursuit of innovative solutions that can support and empower Indigenous Australians living with a disability in Victoria.

Contact the Social Innovation Research Institute

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, then get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions.

Call +61 (03) 9214 8180