The World Bank has released the World Development Report 2016 this morning. This year’s theme: Digital Dividends. In other words: how has the spread of digital technology, such as mobile phones and internet connectivity, benefited developing countries?
The answer to that question is – not surprisingly – mixed: people living in countries that (can) invest a lot in areas like education, IT infrastructure and the rule of law often benefited from digital technologies. In countries where that has not been the case, the same technologies have increased inequalities and often huge amounts of money were wasted (think: e-government projects).
As one of the co-directors of the Bank put: “Digital technologies (…) are not a shortcut to development, though they can accelerate it if used in the right way.”