Development Co-operation Report 2021

Shaping a Just Digital Transformation

image of Development Co-operation Report 2021

Digital transformation is revolutionising economies and societies with rapid technological advances in AI, robotics and the Internet of Things. Low- and middle-income countries are struggling to gain a foothold in the global digital economy in the face of limited digital capacity, skills, and fragmented global and regional rules. Political stability, democracy, human rights and equality also risk being undermined by weak governance and the abuse of digital technology.

The 2021 edition of the Development Co-operation Report makes the case for choosing to hardwire inclusion into digital technology processes, and emerging norms and standards. Providing the latest evidence and policy analysis from experts in national governments, international organisations, academia, business and civil society, the report equips international development organisations with the latest guidance and good practices that put people and the sustainable development goals at the centre of digital transformation.

English Also available in: French

Reshaping social media: From persuasive technology to collective intelligence

The business models of the most ubiquitous social media platforms – where Internet users spend a large part of their time – rely on gathering and leveraging personal data to predict and shape behaviour. Societies are now facing up to the negative effects of so-called ‘persuasive technologies’ and their influence on people’s beliefs and actions, including misinformation and political polarisation. In low-income countries, the potential misuse of persuasive technologies is of special concern given the low levels of digital literacy and skills, and mistrust of institutions. Development institutions can deliver multiparty efforts that support local entrepreneurship and innovation, including the use of collective intelligence tools, to reshape prevailing social media dynamics.

English Also available in: French

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