User-Centric Services Repository

Voluntariado Digital (Digital Volunteering) - Madrid

City / Region

Madrid (Spain)

In a nutshell

Digital inclusion and cohesion is a priority in the digital transformation strategy Madrid, Digital Capital.

Voluntariado Digital is a project in which Voluntari@s por Madrid, the municipal volunteering team from Madrid City Council, participates in the digital accompaniment of the elderly, mitigating unwanted loneliness and reducing the digital divide.

Through the municipal program Madrid te acompaña, created in 2020 to try to alleviate important social problems of the elderly derived from COVID19, and its mobile application, the elderly can receive the help of a digital volunteer to teach them how to use digital tools with which they can participate in community activities, as well as access Madrid's digital services facilitating their day-to-day life.

The city council has also carried out an extensive program of actions that include a previous phase of diagnosis of the usability of digital services and their limitations from the point of view of the elderly, the inventory and analysis of the most relevant procedures for the elderly, the development of training and co-design and co-creation sessions with the elderly themselves, as well as the identification and self-diagnosis of the digital skills and abilities needed by volunteers to be able to carry out an adequate accompaniment.

The Madrid City Council has recently joined to Somos Digital Association, that has an agreement with the Platform for Seniors and Pensioners (PMP) for the implementation of Pilot Training Projects for Seniors.

Some of the future actions that are on the project roadmap are: the deployment of a new version of the Madrid Te Acompaña App (May 2023), which includes the best ones identified in the co-design and co-creation phases, as well as the comments and proposals of seniors and volunteers; and the implementation of an ambitious Digital Volunteering Training Plan that reinforces those skills detected as most relevant, such us, digital identity, cybersecurity, etc.

What makes the service user-centric?
Voluntariado Digital is a program that places the citizen at the center, since it is a project created to help the elderly overcome the digital divide.

It is not only a service designed for the elderly, but designed with the needs of the elderly in its foundations. As a result of the 35 analysis sessions on the usability of municipal digital services and the Madrid Móvil and Madrid te acompaña applications carried out at the end of 2022 in 16 of the 21 districts of the city by an specialized company in providing services for the elderly, EMANCIPATIC, it was possible to identify the most relevant improvements that needed to be incorporated into these services and solutions. Some of this bests have been included in Madrid Movil App so far and a new release for Madrid Te Acompaña that is going to be delivered on May 2023.

On the other hand, the Voluntariado Digital identifies, in line with the transformation strategy Madrid, Digital Capital (line 10, Digital skills and talent in Madrid -, the importance of education and training, not only of the elderly, but also of the digital volunteers who will accompany them in this project. To this end, the Madrid City Council has already developed training workshops in senior centers and has also initiated an extensive Digital Training program for its Volunteers, considering the European Framework of Digital Citizenship Competences (Digcomp 2.2), and has recently signed an agreement with the Spanish Banking Association (AEB) to improve digital access to banking data and cybersecurity, in which the training aspect is fundamental.
What impact has the service had?
Access to and use of digital services is increasingly important in our society, and it is crucial that all people, regardless of their situation or age, have the knowledge to be able to use them.

Digital inclusion and cohesion is one of the main priorities of the digital transformation strategy Madrid, Digital Capital. The first of its three objectives is to implement digital services designed for people so that technology facilitates their lives and improves their well-being.

Voluntariado Digitales is a project for the digital accompainment of the elderly, but It will be subsequently extended to other people with difficulties in the use and access of digital services.

Madrid has more than 665,000 people over 65 years of age (20% of the population), which makes them potential recipients of the Voluntariado Digital program.

As a consequence of the importance and value of this group, the consistory has more than 90 centers for the elderly ( distributed throughout the 21 municipal districts with the clear objective of promoting the participation of the elderly in social life, preventing their biopsychosocial deterioration and providing attention to the social needs of group and community character of the elderly members of the center, tending to guarantee their autonomy and personal development.

The launch in 2020 of the Madrid te acompaña project was an important milestone to provide the elderly with companionship services after COVID19 just for a walk, formalities, medical appointments, etc.

Furthermore, many older people do not have access to technology or do not know how to use it, so the Voluntariado Digital program can make a big difference in their lives by providing them with the skills, security and confidence to interact online. Learning to use digital tools can help them connect with distant friends and family, find and participate in community activities, and access digital services that make their day-to-day lives easier.

Voluntariado Digital was launched in 2022 incorporating new digital related services among the services already offered by volunteers to the elderly. The more than 1,000 volunteers from Madrid te acompaña (from the total 18,000 volunteers that belong to the team Voluntarios por Madrid, now offer digital assistance to seniors, helping them to be more self-sufficient in the use of technologies both for access to municipal digital services, as well as other types of private services, communication and networking purposes, or just for fun.
How was the service co-created?
As mentioned above, at the end of 2022 the City Council carried out an extensive process of analysis of digital services and Madrid Móvil and Madrid Te Acompaña apps in order to identify the main deficiencies that the elderly identified in the use of these solutions.

35 sessions focused on the usability of the solutions were held in centers in 16 of the 21 districts of the city, with the participation of 126 people over 65 years of age.

Through the use of a methodology based on shadowing, identifying pain points in the use of apps from the elderly and determine if apps were clear enough for them. Different areas of improvement were identified in fields such as visibility of process status, maintenance of consistency and standards, error prevention and avoidance, error recognition and recovery, aesthetic and minimalist design, etc.

The results of this study, as well as the feedback collected at all times through the communication channels with citizens that Madrid Móvil and Madrid te acompaña apps have, as well as the proposals made by seniors and volunteers, have been deployed in Madrid Móvil app so far and, in the case of Madrid te acompaña app, a new version is planned to be delivered in May 2023.
Additional Documents


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