Citizens’ use of eGovernment services is lagging behind the supply of these services, and is highly sensitive to income, reports the World Bank. The financial institution urges countries to bridge the digital divide, and to ensure that digital strategies reduce, rather than of amplify disparities.
If countries want to reap dividends from their digital strategies, these plans need to be broader than ICT strategies, said Juan Navas-Sabater, Lead ICT specialist at the World Bank. Digital strategies accelerate growth, create opportunities and are transforming companies, people’s lives, and government, Mr Navas-Sabater said, “but the benefits need to reach everyone, everywhere.”
The report found that, in spite of digital technologies, global inequality is rising, productivity growth is slowing and democracy is under pressure.
The World Bank’s Development Report recommends policies that make Internet access universal, affordable and safe. It also advises developing citizen’s digital skills, increasing competition and working towards participatory policy-making and collaboration.
In Europe, the World Bank is working with the European Commission, to assist rural communities across EU Member States to improve the prospects of attracting financing for rural broadband connectivity projects.