IDB Group President’s Advisory Panel - page 37

Digital Development for Resilience
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P a g e
Can IDBG explore means to enhance cooperation among its membership to reap the
multiplier effect rewards of the digital revolution?
Problem statement & hypothesis
Historically, and more recently during the MDG era, institutions efforts on building capacity
for resilience appears to have had relatively low rates success in terms of development
outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable and fragile economies. A contributory factor
here has been a lack of focus on the development impact potential and challenges of digital
technology, in light of the widening digital divide. In effect, traditional development
challenges over the past two decades have largely hindered the transformative potential of
the digital revolution.
The current state of digital development and the challenges
In spite of the potential gains and the positive outlook for digitizing the global economy, many
developing countries, including IDBG Member Countries, face challenges in terms of inclusive
adoption of digital technology. This is partly due to persisting divides within countries
between rural and urban areas and across income groups, which results in large segments of
the population being left out of the digital economy. For example, in some African countries,
access to broadband can cost over 1,000 times more than most people’s monthly income. As
a result, fewer than 20 percent of Africans can access the Internet. The income dimension
element is exacerbated by the persistent digital divides across gender, geography, and age
within each country.
The digital divide across nations has also been increasing given the persistent pace of
technological advancement in wealthier countries. Developing countries thus face the risk of
being left even further behind. Moreover, some of the perceived benefits of the Internet are
being dissipated or even completely eclipsed by new risks. These risks take the shape of
vested business interests, regulatory uncertainty, lack of government accountability to
citizens/netizens and limited competition across digital platforms, which could lead to
harmful industry concentration and monopolies in many sectors. Furthermore, there is
always the risk that negative social media could contribute to lack of social cohesion and thus
result in conflicts.
What are key global economic trends in terms of digital development?
What are the implications to Member Countries/Communities?
What role can IDBG play?
Reference is made to the background paper:
Leveraging the Digital Revolution to Attain
Inclusive Growth in IDBG Member Countries
The current state of play and the challenges of fragility/resilience
On the fragility front, countries on the list of the 50 most vulnerable/fragile states are
currently home to 43% of the world’s population living in absolute poverty. The same sources
1...,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36 38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,...112
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