Research ICT Africa’s executive director Alison Gillwald was recently invited to join the United Nations’ Roundtable on Digital Inclusion, hosted by the Office of the Special Envoy on Technology. The office’s main goal is to implement the Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, where digital inclusion is one of eight action points. Dr Gillwald’s invitation recognises two decades of policy research on digital inclusion and provides an opportunity to contribute to global efforts towards achieving it, and support the development of digital and data indicators to measure progress on digital inclusion.
The Roundtable on Digital Inclusion is a high-level, multi-stakeholder group comprising of representatives from governments, the business community and civil society. Its work is aimed at supporting the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through building a more inclusive digital world that creates opportunities for marginalized groups such as women and girls, people with disabilities and other vulnerable categories of people.
The UN Roundtable on Digital Inclusion has a year-long program of engagement that includes a four-point action plan covering 1) the development of a framework and definition for digital inclusion; 2) the establishment of a global digital inclusion coalition; 3) mapping and making digital inclusion initiatives more easily accessible; and 4) helping Resident Coordinators in host countries to promote and support national digital inclusion action plans.