In an increasingly online world, people need digital skills and literacy to work, live, learn and communicate productively. Without these skills, people face marginalisation not only in the physical world but in digital realms as well.
Fortunately, digital exclusion is increasingly avoidable.
Purposefully designed solutions can help people– even those with very low literacy levels and nascent technology skills—navigate digital spaces and benefit from relevant applications, such as those that connect users to health services, support refugees or help farmers improve productivity. This publication puts forward guidelines to help today’s technology pioneers build more inclusive digital solutions. They show private sector companies, NGOs, international organizations and governments what factors to consider, questions to ask and processes to follow when developing solutions for people with limited literacy skills and low digital skills (referred to as ‘low-skilled users’ in the context of this publication).
The recommendations are general and do not attempt to speak to the full range of possible and existing digital solutions. Rather they provide orientation and guidance to developers, donors and other stakeholders who are working to help people unfamiliar with technology find and use digital tools for empowerment and enrichment.
Establishing digital entry points for people with limited literacy and limited digital skills creates a virtuous cycle that accelerates learning and development, benefiting individuals and strengthening communities and livelihoods.
This publication draws on two years of background research and is informed by and complements similar toolkits and recommendations, including the Principles for Digital Development as well as resources from the GSMA and IDEO.