Asia and the Next Billion: Challenges in Digital Inclusion

6 December 2016 - A Workshop on Other in Guadalajara, Mexico

Agenda

The Internet is today a community of over 3 billion users, and concerted efforts are on to bring in the Next Billion users to this community. Asia-Pacific, which is home to almost two-thirds of humanity, will likely provide a majority of the next billion Internet users, mostly from regions such as East Asia and South Asia, but also from very small communities, such as those in the Pacific islands.

Despite its size, Asia-Pacific faces special challenges in enabling digital inclusion. These challenges include social, demographic, geographic, economic, and technological factors. Specifically, these include:

- Poor Internet infrastructure
- Difficult terrain (mountains to deserts to Small Island Developing States)
- Diversity of languages/scripts
- Large rural populations
- Social and Educational backwardness
- Gender-based access issues
- Extreme diversity
- Existence of marginalized communities (eg., indigenous peoples, people with disabilities)
- Lack of policy coherence

At the same time, there are some mitigating factors that may ease the process of digital inclusion:

- Increasing mobile phone use across barriers
- Falling costs for Internet access
- Better education
- More openness towards technology, particularly from the youth

The proposed BoG session will take stock of the situation in a cross-section of countries in Asia-Pacific, including Pacific Islands, China, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Armenia and China, and propose a set of strategies to address the issue of Digital Inclusion in the region, with the intention of strengthening community action towards equitable inclusion. The session will follow up on action items evolved at the APrIGF as well as national IGFs in different countries in the region.

Speakers provisionally confirmed:

Abdul Rahim, Rinalia
Ang, Peng Hwa
Astbrink, Gunela
Chharia, Rajesh
Galstyan, Lianna
Jayakumar, Arjun
Kovacs, Anja
Park, KS
Rayamajhi, Shreedeep (Remote)

Moderator: Satish Babu

Tentative Program
1. Intro and introduction to themes: 15 min
- Welcome and format of Session: 5 min (Satish)
- Introduction to the four themes: 10 min (Rinalia)

2. Breakout discussions: 30 min
3. Presentation of summary of Breakout Sessions (4 min x 4 group chairs): 16 min
4. Open discussions: 25 min
- Presentation of Group reports
- Specific speakers (see below)
5. Closing: 4 min (Satish)

Themes for Breakout Discussions (with Chairs):
a. Infrastructural and Economics Issues (Peng Hwa Ang)
b. Social Issues (Anja Kovacs)
c. Technology issues (KS Park)
d. Policy Issues (Noelle)

Specific Speakers during Open Discussions (3 min per person):
- Country situations (Rajesh, Shreedeep, Arjun)
- Disability and Access (Gunela)

Related Sessions

Main Session in Rio de Janeiro on Other

12 November 2007 | 1127 views

Main Session in Rio de Janeiro on Other

12 November 2007 | 1233 views

Best Practice Forum in Rio de Janeiro on Other

12 November 2007 | 852 views