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Digital inclusion against social inequality

Public and community initiatives in a post-COVID context.
Sustainable Cities and Communities; Gender Equality


During 2020, the lockdown of the Barcelona’s population forced by the COVID 19 revealed the existence of a clear digital divide, which increases depending on the neighbourhood. Aiming to face that inequality, a digital support programme was launched, providing hardware and training in order to get the most out of Internet’s connection

Our Challenge

This challenge is framed under "Connect Barcelona" project, a pilot promoted by the City Council of Barcelona to address the digital divide through three strategies: provision of electronic equipment, access to Internet connexion and digital literacy.

The pilot is being monitored and it is expected that de evaluation and its conclusions will set bases to define and quantify digital urban policies against the digital divide. 

Target Groups

The target of “Connect Barcelona” pilot are the inhabitants of the Trinitat Nova district, which is configured in social housing buildings. This neighborhood is being the most affected by the digital divide due to its socio-economic indicators. Special attention will be paid to 400 families who have received technological devices to connect to the Internet.

The project proposes strategies for the organization and involvement of local professionals. It also targets the entire line of Internet access infrastructure, associations, neighborhood utilities, businesses, and neighborhood communities.

Expected impact

Four types of impacts are expected:

  1. Digital alphabetization. It is projected that at least 400 beneficiaries of Internet equipment will achieve basic skills.
  2. Support network. Setting self-managed neighbor groups for equipment provisions (access, replacement, etc.).
  3. Internet’s community network. Training on ICT’s theorical, legal and technical bases to explore the possibility to provide a shared connectivity for houses, commerce and public spaces in Trinitat Nova district.
  4. Systematization and evaluation. Learning of the previous processes according the three previous dimensions (digital alphabetization, support network and community connectivity), in order to scale the best featuring in several Catalan municipalities.

Expectations from students

A time investment of 150 hours.

Basic level of Spanish is not needed, although it may be valued.

Learing outomes

  • To apply knowledge in order to be original in the development or implementation of ideas in complex contexts.
  • Ability to solve problems in new environments within multidisciplinary contexts.
  • Being able to integrate knowledge and cope with the complexity of making judgments based on information that may be incomplete or limited.
  • Capacity to communicate conclusions - and the ultimate knowledge and reasons that support them - to specialized and non-specialized audiences in a clear and unambiguous way.

How to apply

You need to apply on the ECIU platformApplication Deadline: 9th Mars, 2022


Duration: 14th March - July 2022
Includning talks with experts and local citizens and Visits to the Trinitat Nova district and the Nou Barris Technology Park.

Format: Online/hybrid
The present ECIU challenge proposes hybrid work, through online and presencial activities. It may also include the possibility to have a short mobility experience in Barcelona (pending to be confirmed). In order to facilitate the student’s fieldwork in Trinitat Nova district, several grants for inner city or sorroundings mobility are contempled. If you have questions regarding the travel possibilities, or participation as a professional, please contact:

Expected Class composition: 20 students and researchers

Average workload: 150 hrs

Recognition: 6 ECTS, final certification