New course to help older people master digital skills

The new educational course is designed to help older people master basic digital skills, such as using a smartphone and searching the Internet.

June 12, 2023
A granddaughter is showing something to a grandfather on a smartphone smiling
Photo: Andrii Krepkykh / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 12 June 2023 – The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine has presented a new educational course on the Diia.Education platform called “Basic Digital Skills for Elegant Age People.” The course is designed for older people who lack confidence in using digital tools, and will help them learn how to use smartphones and electronic services in the most common situations they encounter in life.

The course was developed by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for the Diia.Education platform, with support from the “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine” project (DIA Support project), which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine with financial support from Sweden.

The online course consists of 10 lessons devoted to various situations that people over 60 years often face. In particular, they show how a smartphone can be used to search for information on the Internet, and how to sign up for and use social networks, make an appointment with a doctor and order medicine online, transfer funds and top up a mobile account, apply for a pension and subsidy, create a Google account to use email, and detect fakes and false information.

After completing the course, participants will receive 0.2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points.

Valeriya Ionan, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for European Integration, noted that according to the results of a 2021 study, 44% of people aged 18 to 70 in Ukraine would like to improve their level of digital skills.

This means that the use of digital technologies in everyday life is important, in particular for people of more advanced ages,” said Ionan. “To successfully overcome the digital divide, we must not only promote the active inclusion of older people in the digital space, but also ensure they have access to quality educational programmes. The new educational series on Diia.Education will help answer the most common questions and understand the situations that people of elegant age often face.”

A lack of sufficient skills is one of the main reasons why Ukrainians do not use electronic services, according to the results of a sociological survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) in 2022 at the request of UNDP in Ukraine. Among the main reasons why Ukrainians did not use electronic state services during the last year are lack of need (70.8% of those who did not use e-services during the year said this), insufficient level of skills (47.1%), and the lack of a device with access to the Internet (32.3%).

Christophoros Politis, UNDP Ukraine Deputy Resident Representative, said that it was important to reduce the digital divide in the country so that new digital government services are accessible to all citizens.

Sixty-five percent of people who cited a lack of skills as the main reason why they did not use e-services in the past year are in the older age group,” Politis said. “The new educational series is aimed at meeting exactly their needs. It will help them acquire the necessary knowledge so that older people have access to new public digital tools, and so they can benefit from the fruits of digitalization in the country on an equal basis with other citizens.”

Oksana Brui, President of the Ukrainian Library Association, said that the new series would also be useful for consultant librarians in Digital Education Hubs, who will be able to provide better assistance and respond to visitors' requests.

People over 60 are the main audience that turns to libraries - Digital Education Hubs,” Brui said. “Requests for improving digital skills are very different: from using a smartphone, its main applications and simple Internet searches, to mastering graphics programmes. There is a significant demand for consulting on government digital services in the Diia application. The new educational series on Diia.Education will help both older persons learn new digital tools to improve their quality of life, and consultant librarians in Digital Education Hubs to improve their training programmes and consultations for those who are seeking help.”

Background information

UNDP in Ukraine, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, conducts research annually into how Ukrainians use public electronic services. In September 2022, KMIS conducted an all-Ukrainian survey for the third time. It showed that the number of users of state electronic services in Ukraine has grown for the third year in a row. Thus, last year 63% of Ukrainians used state electronic services, compared to 60% in 2021 and 53% in 2020. The survey revealed that younger respondents, as well as residents of larger settlements and more educated respondents, used government e-services the most. Most respondents (52%) used the Diia application or portal.

Media inquiries

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Communications Team Leader,