The rapid development of the information society has accentuated the importance of digital divides, which refer to economic and social inequalities among populations due to differences in access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT). This book discusses the current state of digital divides, ranging from global challenges in universal access to new opportunities for greater digital inclusiveness (e-inclusion).
The first part of the book illustrates current challenges and provides examples from emerging markets and developed countries alike. It covers digital divides facing a developing country like Ghana and the range of divides in large places like Australia, China, and Russia. It also discusses digital skill divides in Europe and the digital gender divide, which shows that there are more men online than women.
The second part of the book focuses on e-inclusion and describes recent efforts to bridge digital divides through a number of initiatives. It explores the inclusion programs in Singapore, the efforts in India to leverage mobile devices, and how a UK nongovernmental organization attempts to bridge existing gaps there. It also assesses programs in several countries that provide computers to youth.
The book concludes with a view toward the future, including challenges in determining outcomes in ICT for development (ICT4D) and anticipated new divides. It introduces the cyber dependency matrix to illustrate where countries are in their journey toward an information society and what happens as they reach higher levels. Emerging concerns include a global information divide, courtesy of cyber security and data policies.
Table of Contents
DIGITAL DIVIDE CHALLENGES
The Digital Divide and the Global Post-2015 Development Debate
The Digital Broadband and Gender Divides
Gary Fowlie and Phillippa Biggs
Challenging the Digital Divide in a Developing Country: Ghana Case Study
Johanna Ekua Awotwi
China’s Digital Divides and Their Countermeasures
Spatial and Social Aspects of the Digital Divide in Russia
Tatiana Ershova, Yuri Hohlov, and Sergei Shaposhnik
Broadband Policy and Rural and Cultural Divides in Australia
Scott Ewing, Ellie Rennie, and Julian Thomas
Digital Skills in Europe: Research and Policy
Ellen Johanna Helsper and Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen
DIGITAL INCLUSION OPPORTUNITIES
Digital Inclusion: The Singapore Perspective
Lim Swee Cheang and Guo Lei
Leveraging Mobile Revolution for Turning Digital Divide into Digital Dividend: Examples from India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka
e-Inclusion in Education: Lessons from Five Countries
Soobin Yim, Melissa Niiya, and Mark Warschauer
e-Education at the Local Level: Challenges and Pitfalls of Public Policies in Rio de Janeiro
Bernardo Sorj and Denise Vaillant
Local + Digital + Scale: A Mass Movement for Digital Inclusion
Beyond Failure: Rethinking Research and Evaluation in ICT4D
In Conclusion: Tackling Future Digital Divides
Kim Andreasson is managing director of DAKA advisory AB, a Swedish consultancy. He has advised the United Nations since 2003, most recently in preparation for the global 2014 e-government survey, which includes measures of the digital divide. Andreasson has spent more than 10 years in consulting, including as interim associate director and a senior editor at The Economist Group where he co-edited the annual report on the Digital Economy Rankings. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics and is an elected member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Pacific Council on International Policy. Andreasson is a senior fellow at Good Governance International and a John C. Whitehead fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. He is the editor and author of numerous publications, including Cybersecurity: Public Sector Threats and Responses, published in December 2011 by CRC Press.
"Twenty-five years after the introduction of the Internet, more people around the world are offline rather than online. Given the opportunities of a digital society, it is time to reassess old challenges to bridge the access gap and analyze emerging concerns towards greater e-inclusion. I’m pleased that Kim Andreasson, as an e-government adviser to the United Nations for more than a decade, helps to raise awareness of these issues and I am confident that the information contained within this volume will help to further bridge digital divides."
— Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union