DNS Belgium signs Digital Inclusion Charter

17 September 2021

DigitAll brings together the various governments of our country and some thirty companies, government bodies and social organisations on the subject of digital inclusion. DNS Belgium has been committed for years to reducing the digital divide in Belgium. It is therefore not surprising that we are a partner of DigitAll. Together with the other partners, we signed the Digital Inclusion Charter on 15 September.  

Importance of digital inclusion

Booking appointments online, internet banking, taking classes or attending meetings digitally….. our world is increasingly played out online. Unfortunately, this is not something that everyone can take for granted. Eight percent of households in Belgium do not have access to the Internet. Four out of ten Belgians have no or insufficient digital skills to send essential documents to the government, for instance. They cannot fill in their tax returns via tax-on-web, log into their online bank via Itsme or request an online document from the municipality. 

‘Digitalisation is the key to a sustainable future'

Digital inequality leads to social exclusion. While digital technology is becoming increasingly important, the digital divide weighs on the social integration of the most vulnerable. That is the main reason for DNS Belgium to sign DigitAll's Digital Inclusion Charter. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that everyone is included in our digital society.

‘Digitalisation is the key to a sustainable future,' says Philip Du Bois, general manager of DNS Belgium in response to the signing. In order to advise and guide as many Belgians as possible in this endeavour, we are supporting this charter and will continue to implement our initiatives on digital inclusion over the coming years.  And we will do so with as well as with DNS Belgium.

Digital inclusion higher on the agenda

DigitAll is the new name of the initiative launched by BNP Paribas Fortis November 2020 under the name Digital Inclusion Ecosystem to  digital inclusion higher on the agenda.

We are currently working on three concrete projects: a national awareness campaign to underscore the importance of digital inclusion; the Digital Inclusion Index, a tool that organisations, governments and businesses can use to assess the digital inclusiveness of their services; and a mobile solution to teach digital skills to hard-to-reach target groups.

Digital Inclusion Charter

Together with about thirty other parties, DNS Belgium signed the Digital Inclusion Charter. The charter facilitates the development of a network around digital inclusion and contributes to increasing awareness of the digital divide.

In signing the charter, we committed ourselves to nine concrete commitments:

  1. We want to map and share best practices for improving digital inclusion.
  2. We are going remove barriers to digital inclusion through joint actions.
  3. We want to urge the top management of our companies and institutions to take concrete action.
  4. We want to improve digital inclusion at DNS Belgium by promoting internal training and sharing actions and progress. 
  5. We also want to increase the impact of the Digital Inclusion Charter outside our own organisation.
  6. We are going to support campaigns that have digital inclusion as a priority objective so as to make the digital divide better known among the general public.
  7. We will introduce a procedure will at DNS Belgium to promote digital inclusion among the staff, customers and beneficiaries.
  8. We will take actions to increase trust in digital tools, increase the feeling of online safety and arm users against possible abuse.
  9. Finally, we will monitor the implementation of the charter and assess it after three years together with the other signatories in order to define possible follow-up steps.

We are convinced that with these concrete commitments, we can not only create awareness about the digital divide, but above all play an important role in providing solutions that have a positive impact on digital inclusion.

With this article, we support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.