DIGITAL SOCIETY PROGRAM
Teaming up toward an innovative and inclusive digital society
The “Société Numérique” Program is a mission of the French Digital Agency. Its roadmap aims to empower citizens to seize the opportunities brought forth by the digital revolution and to support the local authorities transition.
A COMPREHENSIVE AND IMPACT-ORIENTED INTERVENTION PLAN: EQUIP, ORGANIZE, ACCELERATE
The Digital Society team is partnering with a broad range of actors: local authorities, NGOs, startups, social innovators, social workers and other French Government agencies.
#EQUIP: The Digital Society Think-Tank, a collaborative platform for digital knowledge
This platform is a collaborative tool aimed at analysing the profound transformations caused by new technologies on society. This platform monitors the digital society evolutions in France, bringing together academic resources and policymakers. This think-tank combines two approaches:
- A collaborative platform: local authorities and stakeholders, researchers and citizens are welcome to contribute,
- A decision-making tool: based on regional, national and European data coming from a great array of sources.
More on this at laboratoire.agencedunumerique.gouv.fr (in French).
#ORGANIZE Spearheading an alliance of public and private actors promoting equal access to digital training throughout the nation
Digital literacy stakeholders convened at a Summit for Digital literacy in November 2016. There, they elected to create a cooperative to deploy nation-wide programs to further local initiatives and created “La MedNum”. It is a non-profit cooperative gathering both public entities (localities, the government though the French Digital Agency…) and private organizations (NGOs, for-profit companies…).
The cooperative La MedNum was officially launched in May 2017.
The cooperative is charged with four main objectives:
- being a single point of contact for digital literacy stakeholders with regard to public authorities,
- acting as a community manager for the network of these stakeholders,
- providing needed services to the members (project engineering expertise, group purchases, marketplace, strategic support, etc.),
- acting as a legal and financial instrument used to apply for substantial public and private financing opportunities.
The French Digital Agency provides seed funding to new and innovative projects. The French government becomes a member of this cooperative and has a representative to the Executive Board. 42 organizations joined “La MedNum” at its founding, 80 more are bound to join it.
More on this at www.lamednum.coop (in French).
#ORGANIZE Helping local authorities to design their digital action plans
Since 2011, the “local strategies for digital planning” action plans have allowed local authorities to roll out digital infrastructure investments in their communities. Since 2016, the local authorities have now the opportunity to implement action plans for the development of digital uses and services according to the Law for a
Digital Republic. These action plans aim at fostering digital services and uses on a said territory and setting up cooperation between public and private actors.
Article 69 of the Law for a Digital Republic, enacted on the 7th of October missions the French Digital Agency for designing the frameworkof the “National guidelines for the development of digital uses and services in the territories” by consulting all the stakeholders.
Step #1: Online debates & workshop
In February and March 2017, The “Société Numérique” Mission started a national online debate in order to crowdsource a national framework for the local action plans. The French Digital Agency is the first French administration to set up an online consultation via an open source tool, made available during the Open Government Partnership World Summit: article69.agencedunumerique.gouv.fr (in French).
25 workshops took place all over the country, and and 200 contributions have been expressed.
Step #2: Co-writing the report, drafting the national guidelines & workshops
Workshops are taking place to co-elaborate the framework document “National guidelines for the development of digital uses and services in the territories”. So far, two workshops have taken place:
- June 22th, Nancy, France with 35 stakeholders,
- July 6th, Paris, at the French Digital Secretary of State: 65 stakeholders have worked upon 4 themes: Workshops #TerritoireNumérique, July, 6th 2017 #MinistèreOuvert
#ACCELERATE Speeding up the population’s digital skill improvement: implementation of a “digital skills voucher”
Digital technologies are more and more present in our society. The need for digital training and literacy is more and more acute. The skills required are evolving constantly as we need to develop a “digital culture” for all the citizens. Thus, the French cooperative Médias-Cité has created the digital culture voucher called #APTIC. The voucher (called “Chèque Culture Numérique”) enables to totally or partially pay for a digital training service, and therefore to access it more easily.
Three ambitions are at the core of the project :
- To provide partial or total support for the digital training services,
- To strengthen the digital training facilities business model in order to answer the growing expectations and needs of the citizens,
- To provide a national map of digital services so that everyone knows about the services offered.
In April and May 2017, #APTIC is experimented in three French departments (Drôme, Gironde, La Réunion), in partnership with the Finance Ministry in order to help citizens to fill their tax returns.
#ACCELERATE Making a new right a reality: Internet as a public utility
The Law for a Digital Republic recognizes the Internet access as a public utility and a right for the most deprived citizens. The French Digital Agency is implementing this new right thanks to an experimentation in 3 local authorities (Departments) in 2017. The scope of this experimentation is to stimulate a more inclusive digital society. This experimentation is the result of a partnership between The French Digital Agency, NGOs, local authorities and internet service providers.
A citizen having trouble paying his Internet bill can now apply for assistance to the Solidarity Fund for Housing managed by Departments. Pending the administration’s response, his internet connection is maintained. The debt owed to the Internet service provider can be partially or totally cancelled.