How to develop digital inclusion surveys at the municipal level


Although urban zones have broader and higher quality internet coverage than rural zones, digital divides remain a challenge in cities all over the world.

The thinking around digital inclusion has changed drastically since the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid digitalization of society requires cities to keep up and make sure they meet the needs of city residents.

Without a clear understanding of how local populations experience and use digital technologies, municipal governments are in the dark when planning digital strategies.

Additionally, segments of the population without significant access to these technologies tend to belong to historically underprivileged communities. As digitalization advances, cities run the risk of amplifying existing social, economic and cultural inequalities.

This document is a practical guide to developing surveys on digital inclusion (and exclusion) at the municipal level. It is geared towards public administrations and local government personnel, and people who study or are interested in the subject. This guide’s purpose is to provide those interested with resources to conduct a statistically representative survey.

This practical guide has three main sections grouping the tasks that should optimally be carried out before, during and after the survey. It also collects relevant materials that serve as a reference for preparing digital inclusion/exclusion surveys.