The Asia Foundation Publishes Six Stories of Resilience Fostering Inclusive Growth through Digital Tools

October 12, 2021 — The Asia Foundation, with support from Google, launched the white paper Six Stories of Resilience: Digital Technologies as Drivers of Development in the Covid-19 Era. This publication presents examples of how digital technologies can help solve immediate, pressing problems for MSMEs and farmers and help support new generations of skilled digital citizens. These stories explore how AI-based technologies can be applied in healthcare and how digital platforms are mobilizing volunteers for vaccination campaigns. The paper concludes with a call for action for a shared vision among all actors.

Online platforms and services give entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, workers, and policymakers new tools to address the pandemic’s immediate impact, build long-term resilience against future shocks, and accelerate economic growth. By working together to establish an enabling environment that facilitates innovation and provides the necessary skills, infrastructure, and online security, the Asia-Pacific region can emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic stronger, healthier, and more prepared to take on future challenges.

Communities can build resilience and contribute to their economic recovery by leveraging digital tools and technologies. In this context, this document proposes five digital economy policy interventions to promote a more resilient, inclusive Asia-Pacific region by focusing on:

  • A collaborative policy framework focused on an enabling digital environment
  • Investing in digital infrastructure to expand internet access and affordability
  • Promoting digital skills at all levels to close inequality gaps
  • Raising awareness of online risks to take full advantage of connectivity
  • Supporting adoption and innovation policies to take full advantage of digitalization

This white paper was a key input for the panel “Digitally-led, Inclusive Growth in the Age of Covid-19” during the Asia-Pacific regional Internet Governance Forum, which took place in a hybrid format–online and onsite in Kathmandu–on September 30, 2021. John Karr, senior director of The Asia Foundation Technology Programs, discussed the importance of local-based lessons of using digital tools in the Asia-Pacific region with Andrew Ure, head of Public Affairs, Google, Anne Dunn, Online Safety Commission, Fiji, and Denis Hew, director, APEC Policy Support Unit.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation.

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