World Development Report 2016: ensuring digital inclusion requires analog complements to technology. Digital skills seen as key

It is widely recognized that ICTs play a relevant role in contemporary economic and social development worldwide. Today’s digital economy has seen a significant increase in the number of global transactions, the expansion of opportunities, enhanced communication and the substantial diversification of products and services. Nevertheless, many people still do not benefit from these technologies.

The “World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends” recently published by the World Bank claims more investments are required to address the digital divide and promote a more inclusive distribution of digital dividends to vulnerable minorities with lower education and income levels. Achieving this goal will only be possible by providing countries with three main analog complements: strong competitive regulations, worker skills adapted to the demands of the new economy and institutional accountability.

It is particularly relevant to emphasize that, although currently 60% of the population has no access to the internet, promoting more connectivity alone is not sufficient. Embracing ICTs for equal development requires users to learn digital skills that allow them to be competitive in the global labor market. Therefore, increasing digital literacy is of utmost importance to empower workers, entrepreneurs and public servants with abilities to become more productive and automatize routine tasks.

The lack of investments in analog complements would, according to the report, generate the concentration of market power, inhibit innovation, decrease people’s empowerment and inclusion, and ultimately result in greater inequality.

For more information, download the full World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends