Digital inclusion – recent trends and messages

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Helpdesk Query:

What are the most important trends, issues, and messages emerging from policy-relevant research on digital inclusion in international development? Please provide an annotated bibliography summarising the main messages from recent landmark studies of digital inclusion.

Summary:

This annotated bibliography collates extracts from recently published flagship policy reports on digital inclusion in international development, highlighting the key messages, trends and issues. The digital inclusion agenda seeks to close the gaps in access to, and adoption of, fast evolving information and communication technology (ICTs) services, particularly mobile phones and the internet. It is an important aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as both an end and a means to the cross-cutting policy aim of ‘leaving no one behind’. The potential gains from digital technologies are high, however they often remain unrealised.

There is a large amount of recently published policy relevant literature on this broad ranging subject. All of the literature remarks on the gender digital divide, and some papers focus entirely on this divide (see section 3). However, other dimensions – such as disability – were not highlighted as important issues or included in the executive summaries.

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