Digital Buddy Handbook

Here is the basic guideline to help you act as a digital supporter. The handbook is also useful for those who are working or volunteering in a multicultural NGO that provides guidance to their communities in everyday life, especially in matters related to digital services and the use of digital devices.

What is digital support?

”Digital support is support for the use of e-services, other services and electronic devices. Its purpose is to help customers to use devices and e-services independently and safely.

Digital support is provided as face-to-face support, remote support and training.

The content of digital support may vary from guidance on e-services use to installing applications and starting to use them. Each organisation should define what types of digital support it offers.”

From the ethical guidelines for digital support (Digital and Population Data Services Agency)

Ethical Guideline

The ethical guidelines are the most important document and the tool for you as a digital supporter. It helps you act safely and ethically. The ethical guideline is provided by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV).

Read the ethical guideline on the DVV’s website.

Guidance session

What to take with you for a guidance session

  • Your own devices such as a phone, a laptop or a tablet.
  • Paper and pen, in case of support receivers would like to keep the memo in paper form.


Check the environment

  • Is it quiet and comfortable for you and the digital support receiver?
  • Is the space appropriate for the private environment?


Starting the guidance session by understanding the client’s needs

As a digital support provider, it is important to understand the client’s needs and make sure the guidance session proceeds at a comfortable and safe pace. The following lists are the support questions to help you communicate clearly with the recipient of the support to create a calm atmosphere.

Questions that would help you understand the support receiver’s level of digital skills and use of digital tools in their daily lives.

  • How often do you use the phone/digital device?
  • What do you use it for?

Support questions for defining the problem and making it more concrete in case they have difficulties in defining their needs.

  • What task were you completing when the problem appeared?
  • Could you describe the situation in which this problem normally comes up?
  • How does this problem affect your everyday life?
  • What do you yourself think might cause the problem?
  • When did this problem come up? Where were you?
  • What did you see and hear when the problem came up?


Remember different learning styles

If you are going through a new process with the client, it is good to make sure they can follow and understand the term you use. Also, it is good to talk with them about how they can remember the process and can take care of things themselves after the support. It is not compulsory, but here are a few ways you can suggest:

  • Notebook
  • Recording the screen: If you take a recording on the device of the client, double-check with them that they can find the recording on their devices.


At the end of the digital support guidance sessions

You can use the following question to make sure that the learned knowledge sticks.

  • Would you like to show me one more time how you would complete this task?
  • How do you feel: Are you still unsure? Is something still troubling you?
  • Would you be able to teach this to a friend?
  • Is this term clear to you?
  • Are you happy with the support you have received?
  • Was I able to help you?


Guiding clients to other service providers

Listening to the needs and making efforts to answer the needs is important during the guidance sessions. However, digital supporters have their own limits, so it is always possible to ask for help from other people or direct them to other service providers. It is good to remember that it is possible to direct people to face-to-face services if they are available as it is not compulsory to take care of things online or digitally.

When you face a situation where you need to guide them further to other services, ask them about their needs, and make sure the service you are suggesting meets their needs in order to solve the issues. If you are not sure where to direct the support receiver, ask the organisation you are doing volunteer work, or the DigiUp team.

Sometimes it is necessary to reserve another time with the client to solve the issue, or there is not enough time to go through many needs in one session. If you are not available in the future or the client needs support as soon as possible, guide them to the organisation or other service providers.

Public services/ authorities

Public authorities such as Kela, Tax Office, and the TE office have an obligation to provide guidance for the use of their services. If you are not sure which public service the support receiver needs to contact, you can receive help from Public Service Info which provides support for the use of official services by directing customers to the right services.

Read more about the Public Service info

Links to customer services information of main public services

Digital support providers in Finland on the website (in Finnish)

Many organisations and public libraries provide a wide range of digital skills training for different target groups. See the map on the website for a list of digital support services.

Multilingual digital support providers

The list below provides information on multilingual guidance services provided by the Cities and NGOs/organizations. Check the list to find a suitable service provider for your client and their contact information. 

Many NGOs provide individual guidance support for immigrants in multiple languages. If the client needs support in a specific language, check the list below. Some of the organisations have specific target groups and if the service listed is not suitable for the client, don’t hesitate to contact the DigiUp team to find another possibility.

Check the list on the Google Drive

Useful tools for digital support

Videos and instructions about everyday life, society and rights in Finland. Different language and location options are available.

Languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, Arabic, Dari, Kiswahili, Somali, French, Spanish


You can find out information on residence permits, jobs, housing and education. Also, you can find local contact information in multiple languages.

Languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian, Estonian, Somali, French, Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Bank account – demo version


Device repair services


Contact info

Artem Kuosti

Artem Kuosti

Project Manager

+358 (0)50 551 1824

Suomi, English, Russian

Yuri Kitaba

Yuri Kitaba

Project Coordinator

+358 (0)50 551 1821

Suomi, English, Japanese

If you find other tools or materials that are useful, let Yuri know about them so she can add them to the relevant list. Don't hesitate to give feedback on the handbook to improve the con


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