Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Towards Digital Inclusion in Rural Transformation

FAO ( 2024) Towards Digital Inclusion in Rural Transformation. 113 p.

This report was developed by the Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division (ESP) of FAO in collaboration with Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. 

The rapid and ongoing digital transformation across government, economic, and social sectors hold immense potential to improve outcomes for smallholder farmers and rural communities, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, digitalization alone does not guarantee inclusion. Rural residents and marginalized groups, who stand to gain the most from digital advancements, are also at the highest risk of being left behind due to digital divides. This paradox can make it challenging for rural development actors to navigate digital transformation effectively.

This report helps rural development practitioners and decision-makers work through this paradox. It does so by highlighting the factors that lead to digital exclusion, providing evidence regarding how digital divides play out, and providing recommendations on how to improve digital inclusion for rural areas and marginalized groups. 

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