Digital Literacy Initiative
The Anne Fransen Fund (AFF) of Consumers International was founded in 1988 following the death of Anne Fransen, the first director of Consumers International member organisation, Consumentenbond in 1981. The main aim of the fund is to promote and support the growth of consumer organizations in developing countries.
Consumer Voice was one of the seven Consumers International members that promoted the protection of consumers around the globe through the funding provided by the AFF2017.
Consumer VOICE trained a group of consumer activists on digital economy who will then carry the mission forward.
The overall objective of Digital Literacy Initiative is to empower the vulnerable consumer group on digital issues so that they may effectively explore the opportunities provided by digitally empowered knowledge economy. ‘Be safe yet be digitally empowered’, is the message that is given through the project. Some of the important goals of Digital Literacy Initiative include:
- To create a cadre and network of trained digital consumer activists
- To empower vulnerable consumer groups by imparting digital literacy
- To help consumers address their digital complaints
- Empower the trained group to reach out to others where constant help and updating from the project will be of assistance.
- Target a cross section of the community in a limited pilot phase and then tie up with a large corporate like Google / Microsoft / to take the initiative forward.
- Empowering the vulnerable section who have very limited knowledge of computers, with digital tools was a challenge
- Designing ToT modules for maximum reach across all sections
For the pilot project we chose National Capital Territory of Delhi which includes New Delhi and urban areas surrounding it in neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as it is one of India’s world's largest agglomerations, with a population of around 5 crore. We chose the project area due to factors like the largest number of targeted consumers, lack of digital literacy, and high rate of cyber crimes. Apart from this due to our presence and strengths in NCT, there are more chances of creating maximum impact in given budget and time.
The following steps were taken to implement the project:
A well trained group of individuals were created through a Training of Trainer (ToT) model
A single day ToT workshop for consumer activists (30 in all) were trained on digital issues where intensive training on issues related to handling of digital devices and safe internet usage were imparted.
Developed and designed training modules for ToT & Digital Literacy Camps Consumer
Consumer VOICE created digital literacy awareness material and dedicated pages on social media platform to maximize reach and ensure engagement of all stakeholders.
Organised Digital Literacy Camps across Delhi NCR for wider reach
Consumer Voice organised six Digital Literacy camps across NCR with different categories of vulnerable consumer groups such as youngsters, women, and elderly. The purpose of these camps is to make them digitally literate to boost their confidence to join the digital economy and society.
Assisted consumers register their complaints related to digital issues
Consumer Voice helped consumers in redressal of their complaints related to digital issues. This was a continuous activity and continued even after the project duration.
Consumer VOICE implemented this project with the help of local partners for on-field activities. Government and regulatory agencies were involved to advocate for better policy decisions and strict enforcement and monitoring mechanism.
- Empowered vulnerable consumers to effectively engage digitally in their daily activities
- Formed a team of digital activists through the ToT model to carry the project forward