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Go Digital ASEAN

digital skills to address the economic impact of Covid-19

In ASEAN’s growing digital economy, we must ensure that marginalized communities have the tools to succeed. The divide between the under-connected and the hyper-digitalized has only deepened in the current global crisis, exacerbating inequalities, and sapping potential for growth. The Go Digital ASEAN initiative broadens digital skills participation in 10 countries for more than 200,000 people from rural regions and underserved communities—including women-led small- and micro-businesses, underemployed youth, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities—to create a more inclusive ASEAN region.

Endorsed by the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and supported by, Google’s philanthropic arm, the regional project exceeded its target and trained 225,778 individuals across the region, 60% of them women.

The initiative broadens participation in the digital economy to include groups that have the most to gain from digital literacy. The in-country curricula delivered content and digital skills through a network of local partners. In Vietnam, together with our partner Tinh Thuong Microfinance Institution, we trained 81,560 MSME owners and underemployed youth in the northern and north-central regions on digital skills such as online job search, basic social media marketing, and online safety. In Thailand, indigenous entrepreneurs like Lakela gained the digital skills and confidence to market her new products online.

“We are pleased to activate this first-of-its-kind collaboration—pooling expertise and approaches from government, business, and NGO sectors—to help bridge the digital gap. The Asia Foundation’s local country offices will lead a  community network of trainers and volunteers to help integrate MSME owners and underemployed youth workers into the digital economy.”

—Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold

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