Digitalisation is widely recognised as a key force shaping the future of the global economy and is now a key element of donor agencies’ COVID-19 recovery strategies. Recent experiences highlight both risks and opportunities for PSD practitioners:
- The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the uptake of digital applications worldwide and gives developing countries a new opportunity to accelerate their digital progress. Indeed, digital technology has already had a transformative development impact, e.g. in the financial sector.
- In other sectors, however, developing countries risk remaining largely passive consumers of digital products and services produced elsewhere. Job creation impacts are still unclear, and the digital divide based on gender, age and geography might grow.
- Harnessing the opportunities and addressing the risks will require additional investments in digital infrastructure, skills and regulatory frameworks and nurturing tech firms and industries that use local knowledge to respond to local needs.
For more specific information on COVID-19 related trends and donor support to digitalisation, please refer to the DCED knowledge page on Promoting economic recovery and resilience in the context of COVID-19.
Photo credits: Hendri Lombard/World Bank; erict19/flickr.com; Beyond Access, South Africa/ flickr.com C. Schubert/ flickr.com