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Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives

image of Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives

Digital technologies and data are transformational. People, firms and governments live, interact, work and produce differently than in the past, and these changes are accelerating rapidly. How can we realise the immense promises of digital technologies and data for growth and well-being in a fast evolving world? This report charts the road ahead. It identifies seven policy dimensions that allow governments – together with citizens, firms and stakeholders – to shape digital transformation to improve lives. It also highlights key opportunities, challenges and policies related to each dimension, offers new insights, evidence and analysis, and provides recommendations for better policies in the digital age.

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Increasing effective use

Most people and organisations use digital tools, but often far from their full potential. This chapter provides insights on the sophistication of individuals’ Internet use, the uptake of digital government services, the diffusion of digital tools among firms, the skills needed to succeed in a world of ubiquitous technologies, and mistrust which deters online engagement. It discusses how policy can help increase effective use and foster the diffusion of advanced digital tools, particularly in SMEs, including through investments in ICTs and intangible assets (e.g. patents and software). This chapter also highlights how policy can help people, firms and governments leverage skills to thrive in the digital age as well as address mistrust. In addition, the chapter underscores the need for governments to go digital themselves and focus on developing user-centred digital government services. 

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