V. Stay Accountable to the Vision and to the Community

Transparency and public accountability are critical to the success of publicly supported digital equity efforts. As noted previously, successful digital equity visioning and planning are inclusive processes that must engage and benefit the people and communities who are meant to be served. It is critical that communities are fully empowered to evaluate and hold accountable those who receive funding to implement solutions.

With this in mind, we offer the following principles:

  1. Achieving digital equity requires well-defined metrics for success along with sound measurements and evaluation. Digital equity plans must include strategies for:
  • Ethical data collection, interpretation, and use that is adaptive and transparent, and that employs continuous learning practices as well as best practices for informed consent and limits to overcollection and unnecessary retention of data.
  • Shared power approaches such that historically and systemically marginalized groups can hold government and institutions accountable for equitable creation and implementation of the digital equity plans.
  • Going beyond quantitative measures to consider qualitative data and local data collection illustrated through storytelling.
  1. Digital equity visioning and planning requires clear accountability mechanisms and transparent reporting that is widely disseminated. Empowering community members in a transparent process will ensure that principles are adhered to and digital equity funds are spent wisely.