12 October 2023

A global review of selected digital inclusion policies

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: Focus on children as a key user group Apply digital inclusion and think of equality holistically Address inequalities by focusing on specific needs Follow an intersectional approach to supporting girls’ digital inclusion and equality Drive broad-based digital literacy Focus on outcomes, not only inputs Aim to be future ready Embody a coordinated approach Be based on true multi-stakeholderism   Learn more: Explore the UNICEF Child-centred Digital Equality Framework used in this global policy review
24 October 2022

Towards a child-centred digital equality framework

The digitization of society does not have a universal effect on all children. Even with the same internet access, digital literacy and content, children from different places and backgrounds can still have unequal experiences and outcomes. A child’s individual environment influences the extent to which they can seize digital opportunities and avoid digital risks. Unaddressed injustices and inequities based on sexism, racism, classism and other forms of discrimination, contribute to this, and technological advances reflect and amplify existing social, cultural and economic inequalities. In order to get the most out of digital technology, underlying inequalities in the lives of children need to be addressed. This report presents a future-ready, child-centred digital framework that incorporates all aspects of digital inclusion, addresses known gaps, explicitly aims to achieve digital equality, involves a broader range of stakeholders to do this, and responds to emerging technologies and trends. The framework can be used in several different ways: as a basis for designing and evaluating digital inclusion policies, whether they cover inclusion broadly or are policies more specific to, for example, improving access or digital learning, to help gauge how holistic a policy is and how it includes (or not) relevant stakeholders needed for achieving digital equality for children, and as a tool to assist drafting policies and interventions by government policymakers, international organizations and the private sector.   As the digital landscape is dynamic, the framework is intended to be a living and adaptable document that can be updated according to shifting technologies and social and economic realities. Learn more: Read A Global Review of Selected Digital Inclusion Policies, which used this framework to review digital inclusion policies from around the world. The report highlights promising practices, identifies policy gaps that need to be addressed to achieve greater digital equality, and outlines key requirements for holistic policy approaches to digital inclusion.
30 April 2022

Caregivers’ Guide to Inclusive Education

Parents or caregivers of children with disabilities play a crucial role in supporting their child’s learning. This includes navigating the education system and supporting their child’s participation in an inclusive school. They often face unique challenges and obstacles as they navigate the education system and support their child's participation in an inclusive school. These documents are part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education, which also includes guides for caregivers, teachers and schools, as well as templates for directories of resources and organizations to be adapted for specific systems. In this series: Original report: This guide for caregivers aims to (1) help them understand their rights and national inclusive education laws; (2) identify challenges and barriers they are facing in supporting their child’s learning needs and (3) find solutions that can help them to overcome these challenges. It is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. Shortened version: This shortened and easy to read version of “Caregiver's Guide to Inclusive Education” has been developed by “Building Bridges” with the aim of providing simplified guidance for caregivers. While this version includes all the tools and activities from the original guide, it has been designed to be easier to read and follow. The guide offers practical advice on how caregivers can support their child's learning at home, foster positive relationships with their child's teacher and school, and access specialist service. School guide: This guide aims to help schools to (1) identify specific needs faced by marginalized families of children with disabilities; (2) identify challenges they face to meeting these needs and (3) identify solutions in the form of resources that address these challenges. Teacher guide: Marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities face various challenges in navigating newly-emerging inclusive education settings. Teachers can learn about the specific needs of children from their caregivers and help caregivers to identify the best ways and materials to support their child’s learning. This guide for teachers aims supports them to engage with caregivers in (1) identifying their children’s individualized learning needs; (2) identifying the challenges in meeting these needs and (3) identifying solutions in to address these challenges. Workbook: This workbook contains tools to be used by caregivers, teachers and other school staff to apply and work through the steps presented in the guides. Based on proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, the tools work best when they are used in collaboration between these different stakeholders. Completing the activities in the workbook will help to identify the specific challenges caregivers face as well as to identify solutions to address them.  Directory of resources: An initial set of helpful materials, information and links from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan have been included, with templates to add more local resources within each system. It is designed to be  a useful first place for caregivers, teachers and school staff to search for solutions to challenges they have identified while using guides. Resources to support marginalized caregivers: Presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system. Directory of associations and organizations template: A template to develop a directory of local associations, organizations and networks that exist to connect and support parents and caregivers of children with disabilities.