Community IT commentator unimpressed

Comparisons drawn with deeper UK consultation

Long-time communications specialist and community ICT figure Lawrence Zwimpfer is disappointed with the summary of Digital Strategy responses. “It’s hard to find the good oil; to see what’s different from the draft strategy and what impact [the writers of submissions] have made.”

It would have been helpful at least to have had a list of the 190 submissions with the more significant comments that each had made, he says. “We needed a synthesis that said ‘This is what we learned from you and what we’re going to do [as a result] that’s different. If they couldn’t give us that, then they should have given us the raw data [from the submissions] and let us make our own synthesis. This summary falls awkwardly between the two.”

Perhaps, he adds optimistically, the picture will become clearer when the final version of the strategy is published.

As head of the 2020 Communications Trust, Zwimpfer was influential in a number of initiatives to bring computers and networking to communities and schools.

An assiduous promoter of broadband, Simon Riley, has invited fellow InternetNZ members to compare the government strategy process with the more detailed consultation being done by British think-tank the Insititute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in planning what it calls the Manifesto for a Digital Britain. It has already begun a series of seminars, which will extend into the first quarter of next year and maintains a weblog and other online resources to assist public debate.

The main page for the Digital Manifesto project is at www.ippr.org/research/index.php?current=34 and the blog at ippr.typepad.com/digitalmanifesto/

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