Technologies’ disruptive and revolutionary nature has caused it to seep into many corners of today’s world. But do we have a clear picture of the interaction between technology and society, and how can we make sure that the most marginalized groups are digitally included and heard? How have digital solutions been applied in development projects addressing LNOB issues? During this inspiring session we addressed some of these complexities as we uncovered how digitalization is impacting the most marginalized communities.
Uncovering complexities of digital citizenship
Dr. Otieno Ong’ayo (Antony)‘s thought-provoking presentation provided a critical reflection on technological developments in society today. Dr. Ong’ayo touched upon the duality of digital developments, as they house both potential and pitfalls, especially if one is adamant to ‘not leave others behind’. Digital architecture and infrastructures, people’s language, literacy abilities, and resources; all impact to what extent people are able to participate digitally. A recent example of digital participation is the Black Lives Matter movement, where digital participation provided accountability in a matter close to many hearts. For example, in George Floyds case, the video provided evidence, technology facilitated the circulation of this evidence, and this led to mass collective action. In addition to this, Dr. Ong’ayo reflected on technology enabled services and the emergence of FAIR data principles. Ultimately concluding that digital technologies have powerful implications for society and people, and prompting the realization that the impact of digitalization has not yet been fully mapped out.
Digital interventions for a more equal global community
During this session, GIZ, the German Society for International Cooperation, presented a range of local development projects that incorporate digital methods for inclusion and inequality reduction. These projects are part of GIZ’s inequality challenge fund, which supports innovative approaches, methods and tools that focus on reducing inequality and on the poorest and most marginalized people and groups. As of yet, the program has funded 10 projects that are now in the scale-up phase as a part of working towards the 2030 development agenda. Each project uses unique methods, with 6 of the 10 incorporating digital solutions to enable access and connectivity. One such project is the GIZ funded narrative geographies project in Nigeria, which helps provide marginalized waterfront communities a platform to make their stories heard by training community members to develop digital maps and media to provide virtual tours of the community and share local stories. This is just one example of a current development project that uses digital tools to shed light on overlooked communities. For more insight into GIZ’s projects, watch the video on the third slide of the presentation.
- Find out more about the Inequality Challenge and the recipients of the 2020 upscaling grant here
- You can find a video about the Inequality Challenge on the official GIZ YouTube Channel