A global review of selected digital inclusion policies

Key findings and policy requirements for greater digital equality of children

Three children use a school computer with internet access in Madagascar


Around the world, policies on digital inclusion have achieved results: Many more children are connected and have digital skills than in the past.

However, vast inequalities still exist in levels of internet access, digital skills and patterns of use – particularly for girls from disadvantaged communities. To rectify these inequities, a holistic approach to digital policies is essential.

Using the UNICEF Child-centred Digital Equality Framework, A Global Review of Selected Digital Inclusion Policies reviewed 126 digital inclusion policies and related public communiqués. The goal was to assess whether these policies aimed to increase digital inclusion for children, dealt with inequalities in children’s lives, and showed readiness for emerging technologies and how they might impact children.

While we found room for improvement, the analysis revealed many promising – and sometimes unique – practices. In the review we highlight these and identify policy gaps that need to be addressed to achieve greater digital equality for children. This global review outlines key requirements for holistic policy approaches to digital inclusion including:

  1. Focus on children as a key user group
  2. Apply digital inclusion and think of equality holistically
  3. Address inequalities by focusing on specific needs
  4. Follow an intersectional approach to supporting girls’ digital inclusion and equality
  5. Drive broad-based digital literacy
  6. Focus on outcomes, not only inputs
  7. Aim to be future ready
  8. Embody a coordinated approach
  9. Be based on true multi-stakeholderism

Learn more: Explore the UNICEF Child-centred Digital Equality Framework used in this global policy review

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Steven Vosloo and Ellen Helsper with support from the research team at the London School of Economics and Political Science
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