Digital Divides: The New Challenges and Opportunities of e-Inclusion

Kim Andreasson

January 14, 2015 by Routledge
Reference - 328 Pages - 60 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781482216592 - CAT# K22066
Series: Public Administration and Public Policy

USD$79.95

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Features

  • Provides new insight on digital divides and discusses the latest policy practices from around the world
  • Offers a primer to public and private sector decision-makers who need non-technical guidance for finding new solutions to seize the economic benefits of closing divides
  • Includes chapters from front-line policy drivers in the area of digital access and its impacts on the economy and on quality of life
  • Presents global perspectives and policy case studies
  • Identifies current practices while forecasting future challenges and opportunities

Summary

The rapid development of the information society has accentuated the importance of digital divides, which refer to economic and social inequalities among populations due to differences in access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT). This book discusses the current state of digital divides, ranging from global challenges in universal access to new opportunities for greater digital inclusiveness (e-inclusion).

The first part of the book illustrates current challenges and provides examples from emerging markets and developed countries alike. It covers digital divides facing a developing country like Ghana and the range of divides in large places like Australia, China, and Russia. It also discusses digital skill divides in Europe and the digital gender divide, which shows that there are more men online than women.

The second part of the book focuses on e-inclusion and describes recent efforts to bridge digital divides through a number of initiatives. It explores the inclusion programs in Singapore, the efforts in India to leverage mobile devices, and how a UK nongovernmental organization attempts to bridge existing gaps there. It also assesses programs in several countries that provide computers to youth.

The book concludes with a view toward the future, including challenges in determining outcomes in ICT for development (ICT4D) and anticipated new divides. It introduces the cyber dependency matrix to illustrate where countries are in their journey toward an information society and what happens as they reach higher levels. Emerging concerns include a global information divide, courtesy of cyber security and data policies.