Digital Regulation Platform
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Access for All

Access for All

Introduction Digital technologies are increasingly a central part of peoples’ lives, reshaping the way we live, work, and play and creating new opportunities for social and economic development. Businesses are, in turn, using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to fundamentally transform their processes, increase efficiency, develop new products, and enhance their customers’ experience. However, the shift towards an increasingly digital economy can widen the digital divide further between those able to benefit from the digital transformation and those that are not – either because they are in socially and economically disadvantaged sectors of the population or in areas without access…

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Universal access to digital technologies and services

UA funding and financing policies: tackling accessibility challenges UA policies cover not only connectivity, but also measures to ensure affordability and inclusion. The means by which governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and international bodies can effectively and collaboratively achieve these goals directly relate to variables such as population density, income, geographical features, political and economic characteristics, and available resources, among others. Depending on features such as these, countries have followed different approaches to close access gaps. Moreover, in some cases, such as Kenya, universal access is increasingly being included as a key pillar within countries’ overarching digital strategies (Republic…

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Monitoring and evaluation of universal access impact

A key consideration for the design and implementation of policies aimed at promoting access for all is ensuring ongoing monitoring and evaluation of whether a policy or individual project is meeting its intended goals. This consideration of accountability should be a foundational design component of universal access (UA) approaches, and relies both on clear, measurable objectives and on the ability to measure progress against them. In a sense, this equates UA policies and plans with many other government policies or programmes, for which policy-makers need to design and implement mechanisms for monitoring effects. In addition to transparently disbursing funds in…

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Policies to promote inclusion

Cross-sectoral policies: digital skills and literacy Universal access (UA) policies have evolved to extend beyond the information and communications technology (ICT) sector itself, more broadly including cross-sectoral approaches that can leverage ICT benefits across multiple economic segments. The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development (the Broadband Commission) highlights the idea of “meaningful universal connectivity,” encompassing broadband adoption that is “not just available, accessible, relevant and affordable, but that is also safe, trusted, empowering users and leading to positive impact” (Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development 2019: ix). The ideas of empowering users and leading to positive impact are arguably the ultimate goals…

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