Harnessing the benefits of digital development for every child
In our fast-paced world, technology affords us the opportunity to do more as individuals and in collaboration with others. Technology gives us the power to include, reach, inspire, communicate, educate, and make effective changes in communities around the world. It offers an unprecedented opportunity to revolutionize UNICEF's programs, equip young people with skills, give voice to their aspirations, provide free and fair education, deliver clean drinking water, transform entire economies and, ultimately, build a better digital world for every child.
Young people are among the most active and influential users of new technology. They are also amongst the most vulnerable when cracks in cybersecurity are not addressed. In the Southeast Asia and Pacific Region, home to an estimated 800 million children and youth (0–25 years old), 435 million have an internet connection at home, with many more able to access the internet via mobile devices. Those 365 million who do not are on the other side of the digital divide, and unless this inequity is addressed their digital future, and indeed the opportunities for their development, remains uncertain.
The digital divide and gaps in cybersecurity, if not addressed, risk further exacerbating existing inequalities for children.
Challenges and Opportunities
UNICEF is committed to digitally transform to better deliver and mainstream digital programming, services and innovations. This journey started many years ago with the rise of the mobile network operators and better internet coverage. The COVID-19 response has accelerated the need for digital solutions as many services had to go online. When developing digital solutions UNICEF is committed to the promoting the use of digital public goods and we work to mitigate the risks that online systems could present to children and their caregivers.
UNICEF works with partners, government and private sector, to promote responsible digital programming, which takes into account the digital realities of the most disadvantaged children and their caretakers and supports governments in creating digital systems that do not harm children. UNICEF in the East Asia and the Pacific region is at the forefront when it comes to developing digital solutions for children, combining its expertise in advocacy, child rights and digital solutions for children with the digital opportunities the region has to offer to close the digital divide for every child.
These resources represent just a small selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.
East Asia and the Pacific Regional Data Platform: Data for Children
UNICEF is the world’s leading source of data on children. We are also the global custodian for children in the Sustainable Development Agenda. This includes being responsible for 7 SDG indicators and co-custodian for 12 more. To achieve this, we support our partners in generating, analysing and using the data. Effective use of data technologies can help not only to plan, track and report results for children but also shape those results with better insights about what is working, what is not, which children are thriving and which are being left behind.
The UNICEF East Asia and Pacific ICT and Digital Innovation team launched the EAP Regional Data tool in June 2022. The tool provides data on key indicators at regional, sub-regional (e.g., ASEAN, Pacific), and country levels. The sub-regional estimates included are based on the additional analysis carried out in coordination with UNICEF Headquarters.
Are you curious to see how your country is doing on key development indicators? Check it out here: https://uni.cf/DataforChildren
2022 Annual Report - Digital Transformation in the East Asia and Pacific Region
The 2022 Annual Report - Digital Transformation in the East Asia and Pacific Region focuses on UNICEF's commitment to use digital transformation to accelerate the achievements of UNICEF's Strategic Plan and the SDGs. The report highlights the key achievements in the areas of ICT, Technology for Development, Digital Innovations and Data Technology in the regional office and the country offices it supports. It offers an insight into the impact digital transformation has on how UNICEF delivers results for children and is becoming digital by design. UNICEF works to ensure that technologies are inclusive and advance child rights online and offline.
2021 Annual Report - Digital Transformation in the East Asia and Pacific Region
The 2021 Annual Report focuses on UNICEF's digital initiatives in the East Asia Pacific region. UNICEF works to meaningfully address the risks related to the digital divide to give each child an equitable chance in life. We work to ensure that new technologies are inclusive, to raise awareness of harmful data practices and to protect personal data.