FSD3556 Digital Citizenship and Access to Services in Rural Areas: Citizen Survey 2016

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Authors

  • Kivivirta, Ville (University of Lapland)
  • Selkälä, Arto (University of Lapland. Faculty of Social Sciences)
  • Suikkanen, Asko (University of Lapland)
  • Syväjärvi, Antti (University of Lapland)
  • Viinamäki, Leena (Lapland University of Applied Sciences)
  • Voutilainen, Olli (University of Vaasa. Levón Institute)

Keywords

countryside, information society, online services, public sector, public services, rural planning, technological literacy, telecommunications equipment

Abstract

The survey charted the experiences and views of people living in the Lapland, Ostrobothnia and North Karelia regions on the use and accessibility of digital services. The survey focused especially on the usability and functionality of e-services in sparsely populated rural areas. The survey was conducted as part of the Digikansalaisuus ja palveluiden saavutettavuus maaseudulla (Digital Citizenship and Access to Services in Rural Areas) research project by the Universities of Lapland and Vaasa and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences. The project was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Development Fund for Agriculture and Forestry, MAKERA).

First, the respondents were asked about their skills and habits regarding internet use. Questions included, for example, which digital devices the respondents had at home, how they would describe the internet connection they used, for which purposes they had used the internet in the past year, and how often they used the internet on average. The respondents were also presented with various statements regarding the use of digital services, such as whether they thought it was too expensive to use digital services or using digital services saved time. Further questions charted the respondents' use of public e-services, including whether they had both used the e-services and visited the physical office of the same public service in the past month or year. Additionally, the respondents were asked how important they thought various aspects of public services were (e.g. a physical office in their municipality of residence, ease of use of the e-services) and how well the same aspects were fulfilled in their own experience. Finally, the functionality and usefulness of public e-services from the respondents' personal point of view were examined.

Background variables included the respondent's municipality of residence, distance from municipality of residence to the regional centre of the NUTS3 region, main way of transportation when travelling to the regional centre, gender, age, level of education, and status in employment.

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