Global leaders highlighted the importance of utilising e-Quality data for bridging the gap between digital services and underserved citizens along with accelerating progress towards attaining the sustainable development Goals (SDGs).
Leaders in resilient communities and government initiatives from Bangladesh, Germany, Kenya, Singapore, and USA, made the call at an event on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly titled, "Harnessing e-Quality for Global Prosperity", a release said on Tuesday.
e-Quality is defined as the input required to achieve the intermediate objective of digital inclusion or digital equality, which in turn, contributes to achieving the ultimate goal of overall equitable development.
Hence, the adoption of well-informed digital inclusion policies, as well as meaningful engagement in public-private partnerships to improve local communities' service to their citizens warrants the use of e-Quality data.
The side event was jointly organised by the Bangladesh government's a2i Programme, People-Centered Internet, and the South-South Network for Public Service Innovation as part of the UNGA77 Science Summit Session. A panel discussion on 'Networks of Resilient Communities: Harnessing e-quality Data to Improve the Prosperity of Global Citizens of the Future' was also held.
NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary for Information and Communication Technology Division, Mei Lin Fung, chair and co-founder of People-Centered Internet, Anir Chowdhury, cabinet division policy advisor for the a2i project, representatives from ICT division and UNDP Bangladesh, were also present at the discussion.
Emphasising the significance of global collaboration and partnerships in ensuring e-Quality, Zeaul Alam said with the digital revolution, the digital divide has become the determining factor of the overall inequality and disparities in society. But, if managed properly, digital development is also a powerful equalising factor in overall economic and social development.
Through its successful Digital Bangladesh initiative, the country has been one of the leaders in developing inclusive, bottom-up approaches which utilise digital technology to increase the prosperity of citizens, he added.
Anir Chowdhury, also an advisor to the South-South Network for Public Service Innovation, highlighted a range of issues pertinent to the threat of an expanding digital divide, many of which were magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic when most of the services were accessible through digital means only.