An integrated national program/action plan for developing and acquiring Digital Competences
In 2017 the Portuguese government established the “National Digital Competences Initiative e.2030, Portugal INCoDe.2030” (formalized in 2018), an integrated public policy to enhance and foster digital competences, destined to improve the level of digital skills of the Portuguese, in a time frame that extends until 2030.
The program “(…)includes the notion of digital literacy (i.e. the ability to access digital media and ICT, to understand and critically assess contents, and to communicate effectively), as well as the production of new knowledge through research.(…) linked to the use of digital technologies to design new solutions for different types of problems, the integration of interdisciplinary knowledge and data analysis, the intensive use of artificial intelligence, as well as of advanced instrumentation, communication networks and mobile systems, and the development and programming of cyber-physical systems. This involves hardware and software and extends the concept of ICT to electronics, automation and robotics.”
This is a broad policy in line with the Europe 2030 goal, outlining a series of goals that encompass equal rights to digital technology, reinforcing education of younger population in digital literacy and digital skills, qualifying the working population, promoting specialization in digital technologies and applications and providing the conditions for the production of new knowledge and an active participation in international R&D networks and programs.
National Policy: Total human and financial resources not available at the moment.
Evidence of success
As of 2017, as stated in a progress report, around 25 thousand people received some sort of training and or certification on ICTs.
In 2020 the government launched an initiative which intends to convert 3.000 workers into IT professionals, with intensive courses of three to six months, plus three months of internship, being the main attractive point to SME’s the placement of those new ICT workers with paid salaries. These are only two references out of dozens that are part of INCoDe 2030.
Potential for learning or transfer
As this is a public policy initiative, and in fact the Portuguese Government also calls it an action plan, the focus in Digital Competencies. Although some part of its experience can be transferred or learned, the fact is that this action plan is a response and a solution for the lack of an integrated digital culture. As such it intends to promote digital literacy, certifications of ICT Workers, better networks, universal access, and fighting social problems using knowledge and technology as a great uplifter, while we address our shortcomings, making our way to a higher development. As such, it will depend on the goals of each government, the identified problems, and the perceived solutions.
We expect that with future reports of INcoDE 2020, some lessons can be learned and transmitted to partner countries.