Arab Internet Governance Forum
Addressing priority internet governance issues for the Arab region
2012 – Ongoing
Consolidating knowledge on digital development in the Arab region
2020 – Ongoing
Digital development is revolutionizing all sectors of the economy by promoting inclusiveness, empowerment, innovation and job creation. Digital transformation enables Arab countries to remain competitive at the global, regional and national levels to fully reap the advantages of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and emerging technologies, while reducing their risks, and to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To that end, the Arab region should abandon its business-as-usual practices in the areas of ICT for development and shift towards more sufficient and sustainable processes.
Since 2017, ESCWA has launched several initiatives on ICT for development and regional integration to align the action lines of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) with the SDGs.
ESCWA conducts national and regional digital development reviews to assist member States in monitoring the development of their information societies and their digital development agendas. It has created, for this purpose, a comprehensive conceptual framework for digital development structured in five clusters:
ESCWA has also co-led the development of a comprehensive Arab Digital Agenda (ADA), in collaboration with the League of Arab States and other key actors. This flagship agenda was developed as part of the project "Advancing Digital Cooperation and Development - Arab States Action Programme" (ADCD-ASAP), which was launched in 2020 with the aim of encouraging dialogue and collaboration among various stakeholders and experts on critical issues pertaining to digital development and digital cooperation.
ESCWA is collaborating with a number of regional Arab and United Nations organizations active in the field of ICT for development in the Arab region. These include:
United Nations organizations:
ESCWA has conducted National Digital Development Reviews (NDDRs), which focus on assisting member States in assessing, reviewing and analysing their digital development. NDDRs provide a tool for the regular monitoring, progress and development of evidence-based policies, strategies and action plans.
ESCWA has also developed the Arab Digital Development Report (ADDR) to assess progress in digital development. The report provides an integrated methodology for reviewing the development and application of digital technologies in the Arab region, while also identifying digital technology strengths and areas for further development.
ESCWA continues to provide technical guidance to member States on the challenges they might face and ways to overcome them, by developing targeted National Digital Development Agendas (NDDAs) based on the NDDRs/ADDR updated framework and guiding manual.