We’re delighted that round four of the Digital Participation Challenge Fund is nearly ready to launch.

With generous support from the Scottish Government, it’s allowing us to do two things:

1. Invest in fantastic projects across Scotland helping people to get online

2. Helping us to understand what works really well

Here are the key things you need to know:

  • Look out for the funding opportunity being live toward the end of September, with a deadline of Thursday 10 November.
  • Awards will be made before Christmas 2016.
  • We will be making small awards. The majority of these will be over £1,000 and below £10,000. The average award to date has been just over £8,000.
  • There will be an online application process for the majority of the awards.
  • Final decisions will be made by a team from our Leadership Group.
  • A full list of Frequently Asked Questions, based on all our learning, will be available to help guide applicants.
  • We expect all successful applicants to be supporting people to gain Basic Digital Skills, and to regulalry assess and report progress.

We’re in the final stages of analysing the 84 projects which have been funded through the first three calls. We will be publishing our findings in the next couple of weeks.

What we’re really going to focus on in Challenge 4 is investing in ‘lessons learned’. What’s currently emerging is:

  • One-to-one support is beneficial – this could be peer-to-peer learning or volunteer support.
  • Short bursts of frequent learning are more successful than a small number of longer sessions.
  • Linking a type of device to a specific activity, and having an individual ‘hook’, is important.
  • Where a small group of people is being supported to get online, it’s helpful if that they are all working with the same type of device.

If you are interested in applying for Challenge funding, please keep an eye on our website and Twitter feed for further information.

We will also be announcing developments in our fortnightly e-bulletin.