IGF 2019 WS #96 Measuring and Bridging Digital Divides:Going Digital Toolkit

Organizer 1: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Organizer 2: Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Speaker 1: Mark Uhrbach, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Alex Cooke, Government, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Walter Claassen, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Ellen Blackler, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Olga Cavalli, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Policy Question(s): 

• What are the main digital divides in your view and are they adequately covered by the Going Digital indicators? If not, please identify which divides and your suggestions for specific indicators?

• What innovative country policy practices are you aware of that have helped narrow digital divides by: 1) gender, 2) skills, 3) age, 4) income, 5) education level, and 6) connectivity?

• In your view, how can the Toolkit be enhanced to foster digital inclusion?

Relevance to Theme: Digital divides persist along a range of dimensions, including by geography, gender, age, income and education level, and must be addressed. Digital transformation will only fully benefit economies and societies if it is inclusive and if governments step up efforts to prepare businesses, people and policies for a digital world. To realise the immense promises of digital technologies and bridge existing and new digital divides, it is important to know where countries stand and what innovative policy experiences have helped close such divides. The OECD Going Digital Toolkit helps both identify the gaps and provide such examples.

Relevance to Internet Governance: All stakeholders have a role to play in promoting greater digital inclusion. Bridging digital divides requires policy action as well as action by the private sector and civil society. To understand where and how extensive digital divides are, it is important to measure and map them, and to provide information on how such divides have been narrowed. As such, diverse stakeholder participation in the development of practical tools like the Going Digital Toolkit is essential to creating the inclusive Internet we all want.

Format: 

Debate - Classroom - 90 Min

Description: Co-sponsor: Statistics Canada (government)

Digital transformation is well under way, yet its scope and speed vary greatly across countries, sectors, people and places. Digital divides persist along a range of dimensions, including by geography, gender, age, income and education level, and must be addressed. Digital transformation will only fully benefit economies and societies if it is inclusive and if governments step up efforts to prepare businesses, people and policies for a digital world. How can we realise the immense promises of digital technologies and bridge existing and new digital divides? The OECD Going Digital Toolkit helps chart the road ahead.

The Toolkit is an online tool that is structured along the lines of the OECD Going Digital Integrated Policy Framework. This framework includes seven policy dimensions – Access, Use, Innovation, Jobs, Society, Trust and Market Openness – that need to be co-ordinated to shape a digital future that improves the lives of all people. Measuring countries’ state of digital development is key to identifying gaps and policy solutions to making digital transformation more inclusive. Therefore, the Toolkit maps a core set of indicators to each of the seven policy dimensions and allows users to interactively explore these data to assess a country’s state of digital development. These policy dimensions include:

• Access to communications infrastructures, services and data (Indicators on connectivity divides)
• Effective use of digital technologies and data (Indicators on divides by firm size and skill level)
• Data-driven and digital innovation
• Good jobs for all (Indicators on education and skill divides)
• Social prosperity and inclusion (Indicators on gender, age education and income divides)
• Trust in the digital age
• Market openness in digital business environments

Measuring digital transformation is in many cases still uncharted territory, and this workshop would inform stakeholders about the measurement work undertaken so far and seek feedback on how to further enrich the Toolkit going forward. In particular, we see the IGF as a unique forum to engage with developing countries on how we might include their data in the Toolkit and with stakeholders on unofficial datasets that may be useful to explore for the Toolkit.

The Toolkit also contains OECD policy guidance and insights related to each of the policy dimensions and, in due course, will incorporate innovative policy practices. Users can explore the Toolkit using three entry points: 1) policy dimensions, 2) countries and 3) themes.

Key questions that would be addressed in the workshop include:

• Are there digital divides that are not covered by the Going Digital indicators? If so, which ones and do you have suggestions for specific indicators?

• What innovative country policy practices are you aware of that have helped narrow digital divides by: 1) gender, 2) skills, 3) age, 4) income, 5) education level, and 6) connectivity?

• In your view, how can the Toolkit be enhanced to foster digital inclusion?

Moderator

 Molly Lesher, OECD (international organisation), USA, confirmed

Participants

 Mark Uhrbach, Statistics Canada (government), Canada, confirmed
 Alex Cooke, Ministry for Industry, Innovation and Science, Australia (government), confirmed
 Olga Cavalli, ISOC (Internet technical community), Argentina, confirmed
 Ellen Blackler, Disney (business), United States, confirmed
 Walter Claassen, National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) (non-profit organisation), South Africa, confirmed

Online moderator

 Christopher Lomax, OECD (international organisation) (youth), Sweden, confirmed

Diversity

Including the moderators, the panel includes three women and four men. The online moderator is a youth. The panel includes representatives from Australia, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Sweden and the United States. Several stakeholder groups are represented: International organisations, government, the Internet technical community, civil society and business.

Expected Outcomes: Measuring digital transformation is in many cases still uncharted territory, and this workshop would inform stakeholders about the measurement work undertaken so far and seek feedback on how to further enrich the Toolkit going forward. In particular, we see the IGF as a unique forum to engage with developing countries on how we might include their data in the Toolkit and with stakeholders on unofficial datasets that may be useful to explore for the Toolkit. The Toolkit would also benefit from participants identifying innovative policy practices aimed at closing digital divides and fostering digital inclusion.

Discussion Facilitation: 

In advance of the IGF, we would take steps to interact with the IGF community, including by promoting the Toolkit via IGF related communications ahead of the Forum and inviting a diverse range of users to test the Toolkit and provide feedback that would then be incorporated into the on-site IGF workshop. In addition, because the Toolkit is online and mobile-friendly, we would endeavour to have several tablets available in the room to enable participants to interact with the Toolkit during the workshop so we can incorporate real-time feedback. Participants could also access the Toolkit via their own mobile devices.

Online Participation: 

We have an online moderator who has experience with moderating online participation in large events. For example, Mr. Lomax was the chief online moderator for the Going Digital Summit (700+ participants) on 11-12 March 2019. We will consider using polls and other techniques to engage with the audience online.

Proposed Additional Tools: The Going Digital Toolkit is an online tool, easily accessible by mobile devices. Participants can use their own mobile device to access the Toolkit; we will also endeavour to have several tablets available in the room.

SDGs: 

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities