Office of Strategic Partnerships -- Digital Literacy Literature Review

Funding Agency:
State of North Carolina

At least 1.1 million North Carolina households lack access to high-speed internet, cannot afford it, or do not have the skills needed to take advantage of the digital economy. In today’s world, having access to affordable high-speed internet and having the devices and knowing how to use digital tools (internet adoption) are necessary for full participation in most sectors, from healthcare to education, economic development, agriculture, and beyond.

In 2021, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to create an Office of Digital Equity and Literacy (ODEL), part of the state's Division of Broadband and Digital Equity. In the same year, North Carolina allocated $971 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and state funding to address internet access and another $50 million to advance internet affordability and adoption. With this investment, ODEL is 1) prioritizing internet affordability through Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment, 2) creating device access for low-income households, 3) increasing digital literacy training and building, and 4) building capacity for community partners. To achieve the latter two goals, ODEL expects to invest most of its ARPA dollars in digital equity solutions through a Digital Equity Grant Program, which was launched in fall 2022, and will have several rounds of funding through 2023.

While government funds will go a long way towards providing sustained accessibility and at least temporary affordability, significant needs remain regarding adoption. This presents an opportunity to create a robust partnership between government, philanthropy, and nonprofits to help North Carolina become the most digitally inclusive and equitable state in the country.

As state government and the philanthropic community consider how to make responsible investments in digital literacy efforts, it will be important to know what evidence-based digital literacy programs exist, and what investments in innovation and research are needed because evidence isn’t yet available? This project would conduct a literature review to answer those questions.

Project descriptions are due by Monday, November 7 at 5:00 pm. PLEASE NOTE: Project descriptions should be sent to Maggie Woods (NC Office of Digital Equity and Literacy at




Community Outreach and Engagement
Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 7, 2022