State of Digital Inequity: Civil Society Perspectives on Barriers to Progress in our Digitizing World
January 25, 2023
A digital equity framework with five broad elements: Infrastructure, Affordability, Digital Skills, Policy, and Content. A global research study of over 7,500 civil society organizations (CSO), highlights include:
- Infrastructure and Access: Inadequate or unavailable internet access affects everyone, but the people CSOs serve are more likely to be impacted by a lack of connectivity due to poor infrastructure and issues with their internet providers.
- Affordability: The high cost of both devices and internet access remains a significant barrier for both CSOs and the people they serve and prevents them from participating meaningful digital world.
- Digital Skills: Though CSOs agree that digital skills are important, a lack of training on how to use the internet and digital devices is a major issue for both CSOs and the people they serve. Few feel their employees are well-trained on the devices and software they use.
- Policy: While CSOs view access to both information and the internet as basic rights, many CSOs feel their governments do not have policies that support this.
- Content: When it comes to the resources that motivate people to use the internet, email and chat services are by far the most important to CSOs and the people they serve. It is important that these services are available in local languages, which, the survey shows, they mostly are.
The data is clear: across the world, many of the communities we serve do not have access to affordable and reliable internet or the digital tools they need to fully participate in this digital age. The promising news is that the knowledge, capital, and solutions to advance digital equity are out there — we must mobilize, harness, and distribute them.
State of Digital Inequity: Civil Society Perspectives on Barriers to Progress in our Digitizing World State of Digital Inequity: Civil Society Perspectives on Barriers to Progress in our Digitizing World