The world is in the midst of a fast-moving, Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as 4IR or Industry 4.0), driven by digital innovation in the use of data, information, and technology. This revolution is affecting everything from how we communicate, to where and how we work, to education and health, to politics and governance. COVID-19 has accelerated this transformation as individuals, companies, communities, and governments move to virtual engagement. We are still discovering the advantages and disadvantages of a digital world.

This paper outlines an initiative that would allow the United States, along with a range of public and private partners, to seize the opportunity to reduce the digital divide between nations and people in a way that benefits inclusive economic advancement in low- and middle-income countries, while also advancing the economic and strategic interests of the United States and its partner countries.

As life increasingly revolves around digital technologies and innovation, countries are in a race to digitalize at a speed that threatens to leave behind the less advantaged—countries and underserved groups. Data in this paper documents the scope of the digital divide. With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world committed to reduce poverty and advance all aspects of the livelihood of nations and people.

Read the full article about advancing digital development by George Ingram at Brookings.