International development and the digital age


Digitalisation has the potential to act as an accelerator and enabler of many, perhaps all, of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The international community has recognised digital technologies as a powerful tool for economic and social transformation even in the poorest countries. Digitalisation can contribute to an acceleration of growth and job creation, improve healthcare, help to provide quality education, increase connectivity, enhance the fight against climate change and upgrade democratic governance.

But despite their rapid spread, the potential of digital technologies still remains largely untapped and ‘digital dividends’ have lagged behind. Deep digital divides continue to exist between rural and urban areas, men and women and between countries. Governments, businesses and development actors must urgently focus on ensuring that digital dividends benefit everyone.

To bring innovative ideas and recommendations to the discussion, the Development Policy Forum led by Friends of Europe launches a discussion paper bringing together contributions from international tech and development experts on how to use new technologies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and generate digital dividends for the developing world. The discussion paper will also build on the Policy Insight debate ‘Making the digital revolution work better, faster for development’, to be held on 7 November in Brussels.


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