Women worldwide are missing out. This is how weOur thinking on inclusive growth also embraces the need for affordable access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Given that the poor spend a greater proportion of their earnings on digital technologies than higher-income groups, better access would have an immediate impact on people’s lives.
A study in East Africa found that increased access to ICTs over a two-year period was associated with a 3.7% improvement in poverty status. The study showed that over the course of a decade, the gains resulting from ICT access for the most vulnerable were twice that for the non-poor.
Similarly, a study in Latin America confirmed that broadband availability was associated with a rise in incomes of up to 7.5% over two years in Ecuador. According to this study, broadband can effectively contribute to economic and social development, but only when combined with investments in human capital, such as teacher training and digital literacy programmes for women.
History shows that the poorest and most vulnerable do not benefit equally from economic growth, nor are they extended the opportunity to participate in and contribute to growth. Women’s access to daycare, big buyers, financial services, the agricultural processing industry and broadband are solutions that contribute to inclusive growth. The key is to generate solutions backed by solid evidence — evidence that is driven by people in developing countries and is capable of reaching large populations, across multiple socio-economic segments.
These findings demonstrate the possibility of achieving economic growth that benefits all, not just the privileged few. We need more examples of ways we can make growth inclusive. By changing how the world envisions and promotes growth, we are working together to ensure that the historical pattern of economic growth is one that will not be repeated.
Source: The World Economic Forum