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ICT and Financial Inclusion – Fahmida Khatun

The Final Report of the study on “ICT and SDGs: How Information and Communications Technology Can Accelerate Action on the Sustainable Development Goals” has been published in May 2016. Earlier, an Interim Report was published and launched in New York in September 2015. The report has been produced by the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York and Ericsson.

Fahmida Khatun, Research Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has authored the chapter on “ICT and Financial Inclusion”. She was involved in the project during her stay as a Visiting Scholar at the Earth Institute, Columbia University in 2015 as a Fulbright Fellow. Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute was the Lead Author of the Report. Other authors include, Professor Vijay Modi, Hernan Figueroa, Mariela Machado Fantacchiotti and Kayhan Sanyal.

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The Report includes:

  • An assessment of the current state of broadband deployment: approximately 90 percent of the world’s population will be covered by mobile broadband in 2021, although much remains to be done to achieve universal coverage that includes public facilities such as schools and clinics.
  • Five ways in which ICT can be a powerful means of implementing change: speed and scale of uptake; reduced deployment costs; growth in public awareness; delivery of innovation, connectivity, productivity and efficiency gains across sectors; rapid upgrade rates.
  • Case studies illustrating how ICT can support achievement of the SDGs: including breakthroughs in digital education, e-governance and health care, mobile money as a tool for financial inclusion and new business models to connect the unconnected.
  • An analysis of current SDG indicators: highlighting the current lack of adequate measurements to capture technological transformation and the need for new indicators.
  • Recommendations for each highlighted sector to leverage ICT effectively to achieve the SDGs by 2030: for technology and innovation to deliver transformational change at the pace and scale required, three key supporting aspects need to align – an enabling policy framework, strong Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and sufficient public and private investment.

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