Why addressing digital inequality should be a priority

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Abstract

This article addresses the multifaceted and far-reaching implications of digital inequality (DI), drawing upon emerging trends and examples. The aim is to sensitize policymakers, practitioners, and academics to issues surrounding DI and foster a common and deeper understanding among relevant stakeholders. While research has recognized digital inequality and its dimensions, it has not explicated its broader impact thoroughly, particularly in the current era of digital transformation. The information communication technology (ICT) domain has evolved significantly because of its strong interrelationship with many other sectors, encompassing critical issues such as ethics, inequality, leadership, social capital, governance, and management. There is still a considerable gap in understanding the complexities around digital inequality, which varies across different contexts. Reflecting on over 15 years of experience in information communication technology for development (ICT4D) as both a practitioner and researcher, the evolution of DI in terms of social transformation and its growing short- and long-term implications are discussed. Strategies and pathways for the future are presented, grouped into six areas: a call for a renewed philosophical shift and campaign for digital equality, policy interventions, inclusive technology solutions and services, holistic human capacity building, the universities' role, and the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to address DI.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12255
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalThe Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries
Early online date11 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2022

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