Addressing the Digital Divide

Until recently, digital divide policy was focused primarily on physical access to infrastructure. While the cost and affordability of ICT remains a big issue in many countries, a larger problem is the lack of knowledge and understanding of information technology itself. Some studies show over 40 percent of the world population have not been given the opportunity to learn how to use a computer. Consequently, emerging digital inclusion policy focuses more on improving digital skills, better internet usage opportunities and building awareness of positive attitudes of the internet. This Playbook is structured around six main steps that public authorities, NGOs or communities can take towards taking action to address the digital divide. These steps build on the foundation laid by UN-Habitat’s previous playbook, “Assessing the Digital Divide,” where readers learned how to collect, analyse and report grassroots data about the digital divide in the form of a digital divide assessment (Step 1). Following their assessment, readers should be able to identify their digital divide taxonomy (Step 2), or the unique conditions of their communities’ digital divide.

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