UNESCO and Pearson launch Guidelines for digital inclusion to strengthen livelihoods and enlarge learning opportunities

In a rapidly digitising world, people who cannot read or write face new forms of marginalisation. On top of confronting disadvantages in the physical world, illiterate people—currently 10 percent of the world’s population—have difficulties participating in digital realms and accessing services that can strengthen livelihoods and enlarge learning opportunities.

Yet this exclusion is avoidable. Carefully designed digital solutions can help people—even those with very low literacy levels and limited technology skills—navigate digital spaces and benefit from relevant applications, such as those targeting farmers or connecting users to health services.

UNESCO developed the guidelines over a two-year period, drawing on a landscape review of digital inclusion strategies for low-skilled and low-literate people and a set of fourteen case studies. The guidelines reflect the views of an international expert group and were further refined based on feedback from public input.

GODAN partner, Haller Foundation have been working with local farmers for 50 years in the Mombasa region of Kenya to design organic methods to improve crop production and also provide a solid economic stream for rural families. An episode of the GODAN dcoumentary series Open Fields shows how one of these farmers, Eunice, has found success in maximizing her crop yield by using the open-source mobile phone app from the Haller Foundation, highlightihg how carefully designed digital solutions can help people.