Digital Inclusion

Young students learn their computer skills to prepare themselves for the future. Chiang Rai, January 2012.

Across Asia and the Pacific, mobile phones and the Internet are fast becoming basic tools of modern life. Social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have enabled instant one-to-many communication, and in some countries fiber-optic home networks are already commonplace. In less developed countries, distance learning and broadband-enabled classrooms are increasing educational opportunities for the young, bringing digital textbooks and teachers to remote villages. In health services, hospitals provide online access to personal health information that collates patient data for safer and more effective patient assessments. And in the past few years, we have seen technological innovations play a leading role in helping Asia and the Pacific better prepare for, and minimize, the risk from natural disasters.

ESCAP promotes digital inclusion through its analysis of the economic and social impacts of future and near-future ICT trends. From cloud computing and the power of big data to the latest Internet applications that simplify everyday tasks, cutting edge technologies on the horizon offer opportunities to accelerate economic growth, increase social inclusion, and provide new tools in the fight against poverty and climate change.

ESCAP supports communication technologies for inclusive and sustainable development through a range of policy analysis, capacity building, and partnership engagement activities. Developed and administered by ESCAP, in partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, the Asia-Pacific Gateway for Disaster Risk Management and Development is an interactive web platform that provides a range of tools and products that enable government ministries, civil society and national development planning authorities to mainstream disaster risk reduction principles, concepts and practices into development processes. ESCAP also analyzes regional trends related to smart cities, cybersecurity, and e-resilience.