Digital Fairness for All Ages

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  • Opinion by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana (bangkok, thailand)
  • Inter Press Service

Asia and the Pacific has made a lot progress in connecting the area by means of data and communication applied sciences (ICTs). On the identical time, it’s nonetheless essentially the most digitally divided area on the earth. Roughly half of its inhabitants lacks Web entry. Girls and older individuals – particularly older ladies – are the least more likely to be digitally linked.

COVID-19 has demonstrated how applied sciences may help battle the unfold of the virus, maintain day by day life, assist enterprise continuity and maintain individuals socially linked. It has additionally proven that those that are excluded from the digital transformation, together with older individuals, are at elevated threat of being completely left behind. Digital fairness for all ages is, due to this fact, extra necessary than ever.

The following few years present a chance for Asia and the Pacific to construct on its successes with regard to inhabitants ageing and fast digital transformation, be taught from the tragic penalties of the pandemic, and promote and strengthen the inclusion of older individuals within the digital world. The 2022 Fourth Evaluation and Appraisal of the Madrid Worldwide Plan of Motion on Ageing and the additional elaboration of the Asia-Pacific Data Superhighway will enable nations to develop insurance policies and motion plans to realize digital fairness for all ages.

Amongst these insurance policies, it’s notably necessary to advertise digital literacy and slender digital expertise gaps of older individuals by means of tailor-made peer-to-peer or intergenerational coaching programmes. Within the fast-changing digital surroundings, creating, strengthening and sustaining digital literacy requires a life-course strategy.

Furthermore, offering accessible, reasonably priced and dependable Web connectivity for individuals of all ages should be a precedence. Increasing digital infrastructure, geographical protection and digital inclusion of older individuals by means of focused insurance policies and programmes will enhance entry, allow larger social participation, empower older individuals, and improve their potential to reside independently.

As highlighted within the Madrid Plan of Motion, know-how can cut back well being dangers and promote cost-efficient entry to well being look after older individuals, as an example, by means of telemedicine or robotic surgical procedure. Assistive know-how gadgets and options can assist extra and safer mobility for older individuals, particularly these with disabilities or dwelling alone. Social media platforms can promote social interplay and cut back social isolation and loneliness.

The ESCAP Guidebook on using Information Communication Technologies to address the health-care needs of older persons has documented good practices from across the area. It additionally contains coverage suggestions and a guidelines for policymakers to mainstream ICTs in insurance policies affecting older individuals.

Whereas older individuals are among the many least digitally linked inhabitants teams, they’re among the many most weak to cyberthreats. It’s, due to this fact, vital to determine satisfactory security measures, elevate consciousness, and educate older customers to be cautious on-line.

As we commemorate the United Nations Worldwide Day of Older Individuals 2021, allow us to remind ourselves that the dangers and vulnerabilities skilled by older individuals throughout the pandemic will not be new. Many older individuals within the area lack social safety similar to entry to common well being care and pensions.

The COVID-19 restoration is a chance to set the stage for a extra inclusive, equitable and age-friendly society, anchored in human rights and guided by the promise of the 2030 Agenda to go away nobody behind. Digital fairness for all ages, highlighted within the 2030 Agenda, goes past nationwide pursuits. Higher digital cooperation by governments and stakeholders is instrumental for each inclusive and sustainable improvement and constructing again higher. On the regional and subregional ranges, digital cooperation may be fruitfully leveraged to construct consensus and share good practices, classes realized, and coverage suggestions. These, in flip, can complement nationwide stage coverage and decision-making for the good thing about all age teams.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is the United Nations Beneath-Secretary-Basic and Govt Secretary of the Financial and Social Fee for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)


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© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service


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