Development - other

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16 Oct 2017

An independent report commissioned by the UK government on ‘Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK’ estimates that artificial intelligence (AI) could add USD $814 billion (£630bn) to the country’s economy by 2035, increasing the annual growth rate of gross value added (GVA) from 2.5 to 3.9%. To achieve this, and transform the UK into ‘the best place in the world for businesses developing and deploying AI to start, grow, and thrive’, the report outlines a series of recommendations, especially for the government. Among them: increasing ease of access to data in various sectors; larger workforce with deep AI expertise and more development of lower level skills to work with AI (to be achieved through AI-focused masters, PhD programmes, continuing professional development courses, and an international fellowship programme for AI in the UK, among others); more research on AI in different application areas (including through transforming the Alan Turing Institute into a national institute for AI and data science), and coordinated research capabilities; the creation of an AI Council to promote growth and coordination in AI; developing a framework for explaining processes, services, and decisions enabled by AI; and developing practical guidance on the opportunities and challenges of successful adoption of AI across the UK economy.

14 Sep 2017

ITU and UNESCO's UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has released The State of Broadband 2017: Broadband Catalyzing Sustainable Development. The report provides a global snapshot of Internet access, examines trends in connectivity, reviews policy and regulatory developments, and presents a number of policy recommendations. This year, the report adopts a particular focus on the utility of broadband technologies in accelerating towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially the goals related to food security and ending hunger; health and well-being; inclusive and quality education for all; and protecting the environment. According to ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao, 'Broadband is crucial to connecting people to the resources needed to improve their livelihoods, and to the world achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

24 Aug 2017

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right. The judgment, which will impact the lives of over 1.34 billion Indians, comes as the Indian government is seeking to roll out a biometric database (Aadhaar) linking personal details with iris scans and fingerprints. Petitioners had challenged the government's move to make Aadhaar mandatory. The Supreme Court’s judgment, which overruled an earlier lower court judgment declaring that the right to privacy is not a fundamental right, does not however invalidate Aadhaar. The validity of the scheme will be tested separately by the Supreme Court.

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The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.

What are the effects of the global Internet on international development? How can ICTs opportunities for development be harnessed and controlled?  

Following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, there have been many initiatives aimed to explore the ways in which ICTs could catalyse development; some examples include the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s ICT for Development programme, and the 2015 and 2016 WSIS Forums, which heavily focused on linking the SDGs to ICT solutions. The 2016 World Development Report of the World Bank provided an in-depth look into the broader development benefits from using digital technologies.

The World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) process has strongly positioned itself in the development context. In 2015, WSIS Action Line facilitators published a matrix, linking the Action Lines directly to the SDGs. WSIS Forum 2016 anchored all activities and plans in the context of the SDGs. As the links between the WSIS Action Lines and the SDGs show, the effects of ICT on socio-economic development are diverse and multi-directional. As ICT has deeply penetrated the dynamics of connected societies, it can have a pivotal effect on modern-day economies in a multitude of domains. For example, ICT can help in the fight against poverty, by improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, ICT applications in the health sector can promote well-being, and applications in education can stimulate quality education and learning opportunities for all. The accessibility to ICT for vulnerable groups can help in their empowerment, and use of ICTs by governments has the potential to generate more effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.

These are only a handful of examples of the wide-ranging effect of ICTs on socio-economic development. The topic was addressed in further detail in the World Bank’s 2016 Development Report, Digital Dividends, which offers a comprehensive analysis of the benefits that digital technologies can bring for development. According to the report, digital technologies bring benefits to people (easier access to information, jobs, and other opportunities), businesses (more productivity and trade, greater competition and innovation), and governments (better public services and enhanced interaction with citizens). Yet, challenges remain in fully capturing the opportunities that digital technologies generate, and countries need to work on ‘analog complements’, including strengthened regulations and accountable institutions.

Finally, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development has focused its 2015-2016 intersessional activity on the theme ‘Foresight for digital development’, examining the potential long-term effects of quickly-developing digital applications (including the Internet of Things, online education, 3D printing, digital automation, etc.) on the economy, society, and the environment. The Commission has made a number of recommendations to governments, encouraging them to, inter alia, adopt appropriate policies to support the development of emerging technologies and to take advantage of the opportunities they create, and to promote an enabling environment for digital development, with a focus on areas such as human capital, ICT and complementary infrastructure, and legal frameworks.

In short, the effects of ICTs on socio-economic development are complex and wide-ranging. Moreover, with the continuous innovations in the ICT sector, it has become a challenge to have up-to-date information about the social consequences and potential of digital technologies. Nevertheless, the growing interest in these social and economic dimensions of ICTs provides possibilities to better measure and untangle the web of ICT’s impact on society, and to find out how to best utilise ICT applications for socio-economic development.

 

Events

Actors

(CSTD)

The CSTD reviews progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the WSIS outcomes at the regional and

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The CSTD reviews progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the WSIS outcomes at the regional and international level, and it prepares draft resolutions for the UN Economic and Social Council. These draft resolutions tackle issues ranging from access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and Internet, to  the use of ICTs for early warning and mitigating climate change. At its annual sessions and inter-sessional panels, the Commission also addresses development-related themes such as: science, technology, and innovation for sustainable cities and communities; ICT for inclusive social and economic development; digital development; Internet broadband for inclusive societies; and smart cities and infrastructure.

(ICT4Peace)

In the area of online content policy, the ICT for Peace Foundation is engaged in activities concerning the use

...

In the area of online content policy, the ICT for Peace Foundation is engaged in activities concerning the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. The Foundation is organising events and producing publications on this issue, with the main aim of raising awareness and promoting a multistakeholder dialogue on possible solutions for countering terrorist use of the Internet. Together with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the organisation runs a global engagement project working with other stakeholders to develop community standards around the prevention of violent extremism online, consistent with UN principles, including in the area of human rights.

(IPU)

In line with its objective to build strong and democratic parliaments, the IPU assists parliaments in building

...

In line with its objective to build strong and democratic parliaments, the IPU assists parliaments in building their capacity to use information and communications technologies (ICT) effectively. In 2005, the IPU, together with UNDESA, established a Global Centre on ICT in Parliament, mainly aimed at promoting the use of ICTs in parliaments as a mean to increase transparency and effectiveness. The IPU has also been mandated by its member states to carry on capacity development programmes for parliamentary bodies tasked to oversee observance of the right to privacy and individual freedoms in the digital environment.

(ITU, UIT)
...

The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) develops international standards (called recommendations) covering information and communications technologies. Standards are developed on a consensus-based approach, by study groups composed of representatives of ITU members (both member states and companies). These groups focus on a wide range of topics: operational issues, economic and policy issues, broadband networks, Internet protocol based networks, future networks and cloud computing, multimedia, security, the Internet of Things and smart cities, and performance and quality of service. The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), held every four years, defines the next period of study for the ITU-T.

(WEF)

Within the framework of its Digital Economy and Society initiative, WEF has launched the

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Within the framework of its Digital Economy and Society initiative, WEF has launched the Internet for All project, aimed at bringing online tens of millions of Internet users by the end of 2019, initially through programmes targeted at the Northern Corridor in Africa, Argentina, and India. In addition to this project, WEF also undertakes research on Internet-access-related issues. One notable example is the annual Global Information Technology Report and the related Networked Readiness Index, which measures, among others, the rates of Internet deployment worldwide. Internet access and the digital divide are also addressed in the framework of various WEF initiatives such as its annual meetings and regional events.

(BCSD)

The Commission promotes the adoption of practices and policies that enable the deployment of broadband network

...

The Commission promotes the adoption of practices and policies that enable the deployment of broadband networks at national level, especially within developing countries. It engages in advocacy activities aimed to demonstrate that broadband networks are basic infrastructures in modern societies and could accelerate the achievement of the sustainable development goals. The Commission publishes an annual State of the Broadband Report, providing an overview of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by-country data measuring broadband access. Other reports, open letters, and calls for actions issues by the Commission also underline the benefits of broadband as a critical infrastructure towards achieving growth and development.

GSMA
(GSMA)

NetHope
(NetHope)

World Bank
(World Bank)

World Wide Web Foundation
(Web Foundation)

Instruments

Resolutions & Declarations

WHO Resolution 66.24 - 'eHealth Standardization and Interoperability' (2013)

Other Instruments

Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 111 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 23 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 29 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 34 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 35 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 55 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 69 (2005)
Link to: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society (WSIS) paragraph 72 (2005)

Resources

Blockchain Technology and Internet Governance (2017)

Publications

Internet Governance Acronym Glossary (2015)
An Introduction to Internet Governance (2014)

Reports

ICT Facts and Figures 2017 (2017)
Global Information Technology Report 2016 (2016)
Advancing Digital Societies in Asia (2016)
UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index 2016 (2016)
The Economic Impact of Rural Broadband (2016)
Internet for All: A Framework for Accelerating Internet Access and Adoption (2016)
e-Commerce in India: A Game Changer for the Economy (2016)
A New Regulatory Framework for the Digital Ecosystem (2016)
Harnessing the Internet of Things for Global Development (2016)
Measuring the Information Society 2015 (2015)
The 2015 BCG e-Intensity Index (2015)
UNESCO Science Report: Towards 2030 (2015)
The Mobile Economy - Arab States 2015 (2015)
Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation Survey 2015 (2015)
OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015 (2015)
The Global Information Technology Report 2015: ICTs for Inclusive Growth (2015)
The Relationship between Local Content, Internet Development and Access Prices (2013)
Smart Policies to Close the Digital Divide: Best Practices from Around the World (2012)

GIP event reports

Launch of the Information Economy Report 2017 (2017)
High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (2017)
How I Am Affected by Internet Governance (2017)
EuroDIG 2017 Welcoming Address (2017)
GIS for a Sustainable World Conference (2017)
Key Outcomes and Way Forward (2017)
Can E-commerce Trade Rules Help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries? (2017)
Supporting the Involvement of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in E-Commerce (2017)
Special Session on Assessing eTrade Readiness of the Least Developed Countries (2017)
Launch of eTrade for all Online Platform (2017)
Inclusive Development and E-Commerce: Case of China (2017)
E-commerce in Africa (2017)
Data Flows and Development (2017)
A Multistakeholder Perspective (2017)
Presentation of Good Practices in Cross-sectoral Knowledge Management (2017)
Integration – Fish Bowl Discussion (2017)
Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management (2017)
Knowledge Management Award 2017 Ceremony (2017)
Introduction of Flagship Documents (2017)
Good Practices in Knowledge Management in the United Nations System (2017)
ICANN58: Moving Towards a Data-Driven ICANN (Cross-Community Session) (2017)
Report for Briefing for Heads of Missions: Digital Policy in South Eastern Europe (2017)
Report for Second Physical Meeting of the WSIS Forum 2017 Open Consultation Process (2017)
Report for World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 (2017)

Other resources

The Digital Economy & Society Index (2016)

Processes

Sessions at WSIS Forum 2016

Sessions at IGF 2015

IGF 2016 Report

 

With the overarching theme of ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’, IGF 2016 was anchored in the framework of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). A number of sessions dealt with the link between Internet governance (IG) and the full scope of the SDGs, such as the main session on the role of IG in achieving the SDGs. Others focused on the potential of certain technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), smart devices (Harnessing IoT to Realize the SDGs: What’s Required? - WS35), and Big Data (Big Data and the Environment: a Pathway to Achieving SDGs - WS68), in promoting sustainable development. Many sessions addressed specific SDGs, including SDG 4 - quality education (ICT Implementation in Education: Road-Map to Achieving SDGs - WS121), SDG 5 - gender equality (Dynamic Coalition on Gender and Internet Governance), SDG 11 - sustainable cities (ICTs for Smart and Sustainable City - WS69), and SDG 13 - climate action (IGF Dynamic Coalitions main session). Yet, by far the most-quoted and focused-on SDG was Goal 9 on access to ICTs. 

 

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