Exploring Innovation in Technology:Fostering Digital Education Towards Achieving Gender Equality
Some business what we call business. Our Forum business meeting Thank you, Devin. So let's officially kick off our January monthly meeting. Thank you all for being here. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. From whatever you're logging in. We have an exciting program for you all today. Please introduce yourselves in the chat. I will be here most of the time. I might jump off for a few minutes and come back in, but my colleagues, Rosa Iv.
Carla Devin will be engaging with you during the program. I am so happy to let you know that our Jillian has organized one of it. It's an exciting panel. I can't wait to hear this, so welcome again.
My name is Hoodie G. De Lakhan. I am the chair of Ngo Csw. And I'm so excited to welcome you alone. I love seeing all your faces. Thank you for being here. We are still doing our best, organizing our first, ever hybrid forum. Alright! And we've had a couple of glitches, I'm sure if you it, you know, applied for parallel events, or if you're trying to get yourself familiarized with what's going on with our forum, there there's very few glitches, and I'm, so proud of my Young team who has been responding and confirming. I hope you all heard about your parallel events.
If you did apply, if not, please confirm, please, email parallel events at Ngo. Csw. Org or info at Ngo, Csw. Dot org to check in and make sure that you confirm. We're also kicking off a new and lecture process. We sent that we have. We now have a nominating committee, which I am proud to announce for those of you who are members, as you all know, Ngo. Csw. New York is a New York based committee.
So all of this committee business happens in the New York area. You can be a member. You can donate and support Ngosw from anywhere in the world. But our committee has to be based in the New York area. So if you're not here, I'm sorry but I do need to make an announcement to all our New York committee members that we have a nominating committee and it's co-aired by Cecily Kern and Victoria Edmund and helped out. What with Winnifer Dardy, Mary Luke. Oh, my! Gosh! I'm just! I just drew the link.
And anyway, there's 5 nominating committee members who have agreed to serve, and they're off to a great start. We will present them with our sl slate, and then we will see what the next steps are. Most of you will hear. Yes, the fifth committee member is Sayida, who who was also an ex executive committee member. Okay, so I'm not gonna take up too much time. There's such a great program and updates from our dynamic forum cochairs.
And of course our advocacy and research group. So thank you all for being here. I will engage with you in the chat while we listen to everybody else's update, and I hand over the mic to Rosa and Pamela Thank you, Hoodie, and good morning, everyone, and again, welcome. We're really excited. The Ngo. Csw. 67. Forum is less than 2 months away, so it's getting to. It's getting to crunch time. So we have a couple of announcements, parallel events have been reviewed and acceptance letters have gone out.
If you have not received your acceptance letter, please send an email immediately to Ngo Csw. Info and Ngo. csw.org. Again, that email address is firstname.lastname@example.org 99% of the parallel events have been accepted.
And we're really pleased. We have such a wonderful array. About 350 events in person, and about 500 little less than 500 virtual so it's going to be an exciting time. Please be sure to register for the Angiosius W. Forum. Please go to Angio, Csw. Org and follow the links to register At the Forum, you can look forward to the regional caucuses where you'll be able to meet other people from your region and develop a strategy for going forward.
The conversation circles are going to be phenomenal. Please make sure that you look to the lookout for the conversation circles in in the chat. Devin has put a link directly to the Hoover registration form. So you no longer have to go to Ngo, Csw. Org. You can go directly to who we're going to have the Virtual exhibit hall.
If you have not purchased your AD or your booth at them, virtual Exhibit Hall. Please do so as soon as possible. We want to make sure that we have room for everyone, so we're looking forward to seeing you there. And again, if you had any questions, please send an email to one of us individually, or to info. At Ngo csw.org, and I'll turn it over to my Co. Share. Rosa
Thank you so much, Pamela. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Going to Zeus. Wanna start? This one is notches I'm Rosaliezardi. I am the other co-chair for the Ngc. W. Forum and I'm also the global director of the Feminist task force thrilled to be here. So great to see so many of you here as Pamela said.
We are in full mode for the the Ngo Forum, and I have some announcements that I want to relate to you, and first of all, as panelists, said, the registration is open on wove up for our forum March fifth through the Seventeenth, so please register as early as you can. It is free, it is for everyone. You do not have to have accreditation by equilsock. So we're we're really thrilled to to be able to provide this a service, this forum, this gathering for everyone, begin to explore the platform. It is a new platform, we heard feedback. So we're going with this platform, which some have. Used in the past, in in other conferences, online conferences.
And so you can begin to set up your your id, your avatar on the wova platform. So please explore that register. Now, registration is open. I also want to tell you about the conversation circles that we're having, and these are organized by the Ngo. Csw. To provide sort of a deep dive into some of the intersecting issues with our main theme. Of innovation and technological change and digitalization. For empowering women and girls. So there are 10 conversations, circles, I'm sure my colleagues will put links to information about them, but they range from looking at issues of sexual productive health and rights violence against women economic justice looking at anti-racism.
Anti-colonialism indigenous women and migrant women looking at Lgbtqi issues and how they intersect also youth issues and youth leadership. And there will also be a conversation circle on specifically with focusing on girls, with the working group on girls. So please begin to look at that they will be on the Wednesday, March the eighth, and Wednesday, March fifteenth. They, they will be continuously throughout that day. So one conversation circle will follow the other, and there will be a virtual and some hybrid.
So please look out for that. We're actually still organizing the time tinkering with the time for each one and looking at the fabulous facilitators who will be able to coordinate the the dialogues and discussions within these conversation circles. We will also have 2 orientation sessions. On March the sixth in the morning, from 8 to 9, 30, March 6 would be a very kind of basic Nglcs. W. 10. One about the Csw. About the Forum, for for those who have never been on the Forum have not come to the Forum, and for those who want to refresh your course.
The second day on Tuesday, March the seventh, in the morning, will look more at advocacy issues so we have a great team of our volunteers from the Executive Committee. All of them volunteering as co-chairs on these different committees, and the orientation and Advocacy Committee has provided also some fabulous videos, training videos and our entrance have helped so big so big shout out to the team who's helped on this I also want to let You know about the Vienna Cafe the Vienna kf, the virtual V. Any cafe is something that we implemented to 2 years ago. When we were forced to go online, because of the pandemic, and we wanted to continue to engage with Member States. So we organize these these small gatherings of civil society with one Member State, sometimes to from the same country, but a number of different groups.
And we're gonna do it again. This year. We we begin the week before the Cw. On the Wednesday, and then we continue the week of the Csw. And then we are hoping to do the second week of the Csw. We're trying to keep some flexibility, because perhaps we can do something in person.
More information on that will be provided the Vienna Cafe is really through one of the larger women. A feminist groups that are organizing around the Csw. So that we're able to have colleagues from the same group. Nominate people, and it's going to be virtual.
So we can have participation from our global partners around the world, which is something that's very important, especially during the time of negotiations. And that's it for me, I think now I I wanna pass back to to well, who do you? Or I think I'm gonna call on Ivy. I do ivy thing Okay, yes. So let me just pass over to my colleague, Ivy, who?
Who's been doing a great job with with Ani on the Advocacy and research group. So thank you so much. So Happy New Year everyone. I think this is our first one. Right? It's January already, half over, but so since September, the Advocacy Research Group has been engaging you in advocacy that's 4 months already.
And so I think you've heard enough of that. Maybe not. There are 5 key recommendations that we put out for the 0 draft. That was in December, and and then there was a sign on, and actually, as of this morning, there are 451 of you that have signed on to the recommendations, and then there were a series of videos in Spanish, English, French, and Italian. They're available by social media. And also on our website. And also a letter template. On sending the recommendations to your local or regional or Member States. Oh! And the recommendations! It'll probably be put in the chat, but it's on our website.
There's also a Arg, which is the advocacy Research group web page as well. And so how we wanted to engage you today was actually a little quiz on Csw, so how much do you know about Csw, so it's not specifically about the recommendedations. But we thought it might be a little fun, and so that Poll will come up for you to participate in. I think you see it now. I see it so
Okay, I just finished submitting mine, someone saying that it doesn't work I don't know how to do that. Technical end of it, but Okay. We are getting responses, so it might be just like a glitch, for that one person Yeah, let's get Great. Thank you, Devin. So I think we have the. We could show the results.
Yes. Yeah. I think it was enough. Time. Yeah, perfect. Okay, can everyone see the results? Really great? Yes, I can see them. Wow! Wonderful! I think. So. 82% of you got the answer for the theme. It is on technology, visual innovation. So the Member States on the Bureau, this might might have been a little tricky. But yes? The answer. It's not Sierra Leone. It's not Canada.
So everyone else, so those are the 2 that they're not. And members states, there's huh. Csw. Commission should be 45, and unless I'm wrong No, it is 45 That was a trick question, too. Okay, I had to double check myself. I was like, I think it's 45. So I know, I added, that 1 93. It's kind of a a sneaky trick.
Answer, answer. That's definitely trick question. Now. That's a tricky one. Yes, so because so it almost got me.
I was like what? No, the commission itself that's just csw, so those those change every few years that doesn't stay the same 193 members, that's all together in the United Nations. So that was a little tricky, but seems like 23% of you got it. And we have a a real mix of those attending in in person and virtual good to see that. And I wasn't sure also like if I should do the in person a hybrid, I'm sure if you're in person, you could always join things virtually. Of course we welcome that, and yes, 68% of you have registered for the Forum. I hope it becomes a 100% by the end of today.
That that's my ambition, but I do hope many more of you can register, and if you need help with that you can always ask the office. It should be pretty simple, but maybe if you're having any technical difficulties, Devin and the team there are all very responsive on that. Info at Ngo Csw, email. So that's a all I have today. And thank you so much Maybe I should pass it back I'm gonna pass it to the pro. It'll be. Oh, Jillian! And Pamela, who are gonna be taking it over from here. Thank you.
Thanks. Ivy, and welcome to everyone. Thanks for doing the poll. 45 is the number Member States who follow the Commission this year. So welcome, everyone again. Happy New Year, my name is Jillian Dusza Nazareth, and part of the Red Dot foundation, and I also serve on the Executive Committee of Ngo, Csw. We're about to kick off the second part of our program this morning. Which is centered around the priority team and our expert panel who speak around it. So in preparation of Csw. 67, today, we're going to explore the dynamics of the upcoming commission.
The priority. The most of you know already is innovation and technological change. Education in the digital age to achieve generic quality and the empowerment of all women and girls. So a little background. The UN Secretary, Generals roadmap for digital cooperation outlines a collective responsibility to give direction to technology, to maximize benefits and curtail unintended consequences. I, personally, especially like going 3 of the roadmap which is ensuring digital inclusion for all in the most vulnerable.
Now let's cut to September the twentieth, 22 in the UN. Help, the transformation, Education Summit. Many of you on this call. Okay.
I know, attended that summit and post that Unesco published a report. Can I ask everyone to please? Thank you. Unesco published a report with a tangible result, and the summits 5 action tracks, those 5 action tracks in safe and healthy schools, learning and skills for life teachers and the teaching profession. Digital transformation and financing. So in drawing connections between the technological innovation and our shared global values, I'm grateful today for our speakers who have moves graciously accepted our invitation to share their time and their expertise so I welcome this morning helena estavio florid who is the CEO Centro para last associate del Futuro Mack Klovinsky Unicefs global program, chief of the learning passport, Sonia, Jorge, the founder and executive director global digital inclusion partnerships Matthew Wong, who is the second second secretary, digital cooperation and cybersecurity at the permanent mission of Singapore and mandatory partle, a founder and director of the Atman Academy. I'm gonna start with Elena. I don't know if she's here already in the room, Elena, if you would like to turn on your audio and video and join me on camera, that will be great. Let's give Elena a minute Oh, okay, so I don't see Elena. But then let's move
If Max here. Hello! Hey, Matt? Good morning. Good morning. Good afternoon. I don't know if you can see me. Okay. Good afternoon for
Yeah, I'm calling in. I'm here from. But Lensi and Spain, where Unicef has That A computing center. We're working on them a couple different projects Fantastic. So, Mac, I wanna talk to you a little bit about the transmission education summit.
Right it was addressing barriers to access and connectivity. Collaboration between public private sector, civil society, national government, to achieve universal education in the digital age. Now, that's a tall order. But I figured that you'd be the right person to help us navigate this question so as Unicef's global program chief for the learning passport. Can you start by explaining what is the learning passport, and how can it be used Huh! I would love to. I have a a small presentation, too. I see screen sharing is disabled. I can, but I'd love to walk you through it.
It. Okay, go ahead. Beautiful, great! I know I have 5 min, so I'll try to move quickly. So the learning passport is Unicef's flagship digital learning program. It's built on a core partnership between Microsoft and and Unicef with some, and actually a number of other parts that help us kind of drive.
We want to do next slide, please, which is an a addressing kind of one of the most burning issues in the world. In my view right now, which is the learning crisis, and it is nothing short of a crisis. These, these numbers are. Every time I look at them I I get a little scared.
This is about the future of society, and I think 463 million people, learners who had no access in Covid, 77, 70% of 10 year olds cannot understand a simple sentence. And that's up from 53% before Covid. So we're getting worse, and it calls for new ways of thinking to address this crisis.
So together. Next slide, please, with my Microsoft Unicef is developing the learning passport, which is a digital learning program and I'll get into that a little bit more. But what we're really doing, and what some of the work I'm doing here with my team and Valencia, and the larger kind of UN unicef community is taking some of the most promising emerging technological concepts and applying them to the most difficult situations to ensure That children are young. People can take part in the digital future and have significant focus of this is on girls. Girls who do not have access to a lot of these digital landscapes globally. And you know the the ranges of participation varying different regions. But it's an incredible challenge and a large percent of those learners that are not able to access learning are girls, core value of unicef, core part of the mandate.
But it is still incredibly pressure in the work that we do. What we're trying to do is reach at least 200 million of those children over the next 10 years, which is 10% of all the children in the world right now, and make sure that they have the skills and the education to thrive in that digital future. I think a lot of the participants on the call. We live in the digital space we're having a meeting online right now. You probably have. Your productivity is online with the way that you use digital tooling. Your societies online with social networks. Your banks are online entertainments on that we live very much in the digital future.
Right now. But there's that quote that the future is here, and it's just not equably distributed. So what we're trying to do in the learning passport is more actively distribute the future and enable learners to take part in so much of the promise that lives in the digital space next likely So we are primarily a technology platform, the platform that it works online, we publish it as a mobile application. So it works on mobile phones, and then we have an entire way to deliver digital education services without the Internet. And it's highly flexible. So it meets learner needs.
And matches. Contacts. We're not monolithic in the way that we deploy's learning passport. We work with ministers around the world, we work with a wide variety of partners around the world. Small Ngos to large and international agencies. We work inside Unicef at global level, at the regional level and in the countries Unicef has a massive footprint. I'm a 100 of in 190. Some countries around the world, 128 of those we actually run programs. So we work very closely at the local level, and the majority of the hundreds of people that work on a learning passport are in local and capitals and and cities around the world.
We really do leave into blended learning. So that is, it's not just digital all the time. I think that that's kind of a fallacy that you hear about digital learning a lot. But it is focusing on the teacher focusing on students the educational classroom off platform stuff really working to enable better approaches to learning, not just to say that digital learning is the only way to do it right we're really interested in that.
But we are much more interested in supporting a holistic learning environment through a blended approach to do this, we partner with a lot of people, public sector institutions, a lot of private sector companies, governments, foundations, civil society of all size around the world and we really lean on the ability of Unicef and our incredible global presence and mandate to make this happen next slide, please So we are. We have learners in every continent around the world. There's over 3 million learners using the learning password. Now, in 28 live countries there are like another 30, 45 that we're in discussion with.
So our ambition of 200 million is actually somewhat feasible it's not just a number we picked out of the air. We see incredible growth areas, not limited to any specific geography nor limited to any specific implementation type. Be that, like formal learning or skilled development or teacher focused training or professional development, it is truly a global approach, which means that we have to be very flexible to meet the needs. In all of these different places. What's happening in Laos is entirely different than what's happening in Mexico. And I think that that's that's a strength of the program.
I was just in Ukraine a couple of months ago, working to to pled learning passport. There! So it's it's a very diverse program. And I think that talks about the strength of of the program.
But the complexity. Next slide. Please What we're really doing is focusing on impact. This is not a technology for technology's sake program, which I think is is also kind of a common pitfall that you hear about, especially in the international development community. When people talk about the use of technology for programs, we focus on improving living outcomes, we have a research team led by a couple of very talented people that really do focus on these elements as we work for unicef equity is always going to be a focus and the key There, in our landscape is removing barriers, and I think that certain types of people have more barriers than others, and and girls being a a massive part of the population, that in that is it experiencing more barriers when it comes to their access to education it's something that we then focus more on, and I have some, some numbers. Actually, I'll bring up in the next slide that are heartening. But we do really focus on barriers. And the removal barriers and unicef works in the hardest places for the most marginalized the most vulnerable, the hardest to reach. And so those barriers are something that is like my day to day. It's what my team and I set talking about for 5 h this morning about how do we remove certain types of barriers we are trying to build the workforce of tomorrow again, the digital future or people participate in that digital future in the digital space a lot of the jobs are going to be digital too, so That's super important for us in different types of education segments.
And it's really about economic growth. Really, I mean, this is a societal issue, like education is not just learning. It is powering the improvement of society and the economy and the world in which we live in that should be greener and healthier and better. That's at the core of, I think the services that we're doing, and the one of the really cool ways that we're doing it delivering digital learning experiences to places without the Internet. And that really is kind of trying to shift the entire educational landscape when it comes to the accessibility to, or the accessibility of content and tooling, etc. Next slide, please So I mentioned diversity we like. This is K. To gray in terms of the educational landscape. We work from early childhood to vocational and technical training for and professional development for teachers.
We work in emergency response areas. We work in middle-income countries, in the formal system outside of it and skilling or in mental health and mental health and psychosocial support and social emotional learning. And these these concepts that are very important, I think, to make sure that learners are able to get into classrooms and learn right. We. You have to be in a mental state, particularly in crisis situations we have a very big deployment that's going to happen in Poland.
Quite soon, for all the Ukrainian refugees there, and and that's something that I'm personally super excited about. And it's all about mental health, and psycho social support. It's not even math, or literacy, or numeracy. We do that. So in general, we work around the world in formal systems, in schools and non formal systems, like learning centers. And then asynchronously at home, since it's online, you can access it kind of anywhere for the elements of the program that are online. And next slide. Please
So this, what we're doing is when I talked about barriers, I think this is really the big innovative part of our program where we're leverage pretty emerging technical concepts to deliver a web experience like you were on the Internet. But without connectivity. So we have a device that's actually there's, there's a couple. There's assumption here with me today that acts more or less you could consider it a server that creates more or less. You could consider a Wi-fi network that anyone with a browser can log into as if they were online access their own learning, passport application. Look at and go through the own personal learning journeys, take assessments, get their certificates all the steps of things, and we can creatively sync the device as and this is really about Trying to kind of address the access gap. That is such a huge problem.
I think when it comes to the digital space next slide And we do it all over the world, as as you saw on the map. There aren't even that many learning passports around the world. There are local. There's companion last, which is their local brand. I won't embarrass myself by trying to say the name of Jordan or Norr in Polish in Mexico.
It's a password, they deserve to say, Hey, the just to note here some of these we focus on girls and Jordan. It's about technical vocational education and skills development for girls. We have an interesting skills program. Kind of spinning up in Central and Latin America. 4 girls STEM for girls, because we believe that that is an incredible impact space that an organization like Unicef really must work in. If we're gonna succeed in delivering the mandate that we're all that we all signed up to do next slide. Please
Hmm. Oh! And before I get here, just some interesting facts too, around the learning passport that I forgotten the kind of a shifted over on that last slide, we see more girls accessing it, which is a really heartening thing for me in the 20 countries where we gather gender based information where we get profile in the Profile fields, we, those those deployments, ask for information around the gender of individuals, 50 57% of the registers are girls. So that's more than boys on average 55% of the active learners enrolled in courses are female, and similarly, 55% of the learners come that complete courses are female. So we have this nice and not by a huge margin, but a nice edge in terms of delivering the services to girls, which is again a target for segment of the population that we're trying to reach. So I think that that is something important, that we will continue to focus on if we're only just going to try to get better at what we do. We partner, as I mentioned, with a number of different types of and sizes of organization, we partner in the implementation space.
So using learning password to support education priorities in different places with different groups, we work a lot with very content providers. So we deliver all sorts of different content. We probably partner with private sector organizations, big and small as well as public organizations. We have a digital content team led by Don, like, who's one of the the best in class when it comes to digital learning, content and we have a big global library that we offer that to countries to use. We really look to share value. So we want to scale. We want to expand, through, and we can only do that through partnerships that are financial or in kind, or capacity.
Or what have you? And we also need advocates to help influence people to continue kind of pushing the envelope in our space to really meet the needs of more learners? That was the next slide is just, I think, thank you. So I think I made it not a little over time. I apologize, it's an honor to be here. Thanks so much for having me, and happy to take an any questions Hey, Mac? That you kind kind of took me away on a great journey there, because your presentation made me really hopeful that good things are happening. Good things we can look forward to, and they're already being implemented.
I want to say that I wasn't the only one who worked on this panel, and we had a group of very determined young ladies to push the barrier. And so I'm gonna ask one of them Ria to join me with a short follow-up question for you so Ria Hi! Everyone! Good morning! Good evening. Good afternoon. Thank you, Mack, for your presentation. The learning passport is in incredible. I wanted to ask you talked about the passport being used in different ways for formal education skills training, offline and emergencies. Could you share more specific examples to help us all understand a bit more Oh, happy to a couple of the examples, I think Jordan is a good one. The the real challenge here is that Unicef every third word that you hear around here is context and context rules. The way that we run our programs. We don't really like do anything from a central level.
We enable countries to meet the challenges and the needs where they are, because they know better than anybody else would. Right. You have to really no one experience a problem to best understand the way to address it. So I think in a number of the different countries like Poland, we work with the Ministry of of Education to deliver mental health and psychosocial support trainings for Ukrainian teachers who are find themselves there and have to work with Ukrainian kids the Ministers are also asking us to support Polish teachers, too, because I think everyone, you know, in the learning environments could get better at mental health and support of services. I'm in Zimbabwe, one of our flagship countries where we're the National Learning platform, the digital ring platform and one of the one of the few countries that we're gonna introduce. A next kind of version of our offline learning. We work very closely.
The minister. She's like a star I've got to meet her at the Transforming Education Summit. One of these people you just feel lucky to be around. It's really trying to bridge the gap between those that can afford mobile data as an access barrier. And as I can my colleagues here, I'm looking at them or working on 0, rating or making access to learning affordable because data is surprisingly expensive in Zibaba, in Sierra Leone. We're working.
There's actually a number of different ways we're using learn passport there. We're training teachers. So if there's professional development in the ministry which is a really fun deployment, kids are using the learning passport to a prep for the national exams, so they take the practice test set in in Sierra Leone it's. Also, one of the places where there wasn't a lot of digital curriculum to begin with.
And so we're working very closely there to kind of introduce that types of learning. And Jordan is a grip program because a targeted girls like that's what they said. With. We want to do girls in STEM. That's what we're gonna do.
The learning password here for? And we said, with the amazing good sense, of course the sounds great, so there they do a lot of gender equality programming STEM stuff, but also genderbrace violence, per content, comprehensive sexual education, content to really address, the needs of those segments, and those girls in Jordan that I think often don't receive those services as much in in their society. And where new Unicef has some dedicated programming to to reach those those types of of the population. It's just just. An I mean I could talk for hours and hours, but I understand you guys have a meeting and other people that you probably want to hear from learning passport org you can email me. I'm sure they'll share the presentation or learning email@example.com are is our inbox, which might smarter and more capable. Colleague, Ellen will get back to you. Love to hear from you, and and thank so, and if you have any more questions, I think there might be more Yes, I would like to have a follow up question. My second question would be, What is the next country that you're gonna go live in
It's a race, the the country's gonna pop up all over the place, and some move faster than others. I'm really focusing on this next wave of offline deployments where we're gonna group a lot of those hub devices that there was that illustration of before in the Philippines who, I think will probably be the next one to launch zimbabwe where the program program is so strong. We actually are adding that element to it. Lebanon Nigeria, and Mexico. Those are the 5 that we're gonna start really focusing on offline.
But Liberia, I have a feeling they they're gonna move pretty quickly. There's some possibilities in Brazil so I don't know. I couldn't tell you, but the off on countries, I think that's where will be the will be the focus. And I think that you may hear more about it in the news whatever, because it is really, really exciting, and it is somewhat of a first of its kind. So we're we're ecstatic about that.
But the next one I don't know but my money would be on Philippines if I if I tell you. But don't tell anybody else. I said that That's fantastic.
I I I just wanna pipe in here and say, Thank you, Mac and Ria so much because the chat box also is so very active, and I'm gonna pause with mattress now. Yeah. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Oh, we'll just run away with all the questions and I'd like to come back to you, Mac, a little later, but I'd like to ask Sonia to join us again. Hello! Good morning! Soia! Hi morning! I want to touch upon as a lifelong proponent of affordable Internet and your most you have most recently founded and are the executive director of Global digital Inclusion partnership. Can you talk a little bit on your recommendations as part of your expert group paper to UN women on how policy on the policies that we need to make the Internet affordable to all specifically in relation to you know the recommendations to UN women coming up for the in the upcoming Commission Absolutely. Thank you. First of all, thank you for inviting me, and for giving the space to talk about these issues and thanks for everyone is on the call. It's really exciting to be here talking to you so, as Julian mentioned, I lead the global digital inclusion partnership, which is an organization.
It's really a coalition, a global coalition of public, private and civil society organizations that have come together to work on these very complicated but absolutely critical issue of meaningful connectivity to the global majority. And I want to make that point very clear, because we, you know, we've been doing these for quite some years now, through our form of work, etc. And we started by focusing on affordability precisely for some of the issues that actually map just mentioned in this presentation. And Jillian just highlighted, you know, having the foundation for the possibilities that digital memory brings to all of is absolutely critical. And the truth is, you in in the majority of the world, that foundation which is affordable, meaningful connectivity, and I'll tell you precisely what that means is very far from being a reality, and especially very far from being a reality, from women and girls.
Women and girls in rural areas, women and girls that are from marginalized communities and this is a very important point to make, because, as we, as Gdp, as we call ourselves, work with governments, private sector and civil society to not only reform an update policy, and regulatory frameworks around the world To directly tackle this issue. We need to understand the different dimensions that we are talking about, and and I want to practice that before I enter on specific recommendations, Jillian, because the recommendations are the kind of actions that need to take place, very similar to what Matt was mentioning in terms of the Learning passport. They very contextualized, and it really depends on which region you're working, which country we're working. What are the priorities in the most urgent gaps that exist in each particular setting? But let me start by just sharing a couple of things to give you an idea of how we tackle that. First of all, understanding what we are doing, what is the problem right? This idea of the digital gender gap and the foundation for everything digital development which is having affordable access to data it's critical. And the reality in the world is that really more than 50% of the world's population does not have access to meaningful connectivity, which is what we call the ability to access the Internet in an affordable way through an appropriate device with a core connection that allows people to have the quality of data at least what equivalent what people now were around the world like to call it Fourg, so equivalent to a 4G.
Connection, and in an unlimited way. However, in wherever they want to access. That reality is very, very different from what most people expect. So when you think about the numbers that come out of the Itu, which are really the tracks and measures progress in our sector very frequently think about the continent of Africa, having be only about 30% of the population with basic access that basic access to the Internet doesn't mean that those weapons actually have access, have the ability to access the kinds of things that, for example, Mac was talking about.
They should, learning the, you know. Don't have the kind of data plans and devices and foundational connectivity that allows them to actually benefit from things like an educational learning program, or any kind of digital education the same is true for health care agriculture. Or what have you? So we need to think about this foundation, which is understanding what meaningful connectivity means, and how people can afford that before we can think about how to recommend actions. And so when the other thing that I wanted to mention to all of you is that just a few numbers to be put that in perspective, I mentioned Africa. So think about 29% of the population that have basic access. Which is measured by the ability to go online, at least once in the last 3 months. Yes, ludicrous, but that's exactly how it is measured in the world.
Well, only about 13% of South Africans have the kind of connectivity, meaningful connectivity that we are talking about. That is necessary to be able to benefit from the kinds of digital programming that we are talking about, like the digital learning or anything else, 7% of Ganians have access to that kind of connectivity. 12% of Nigerians. And so on and so forth.
Only 26% of Colombians, a country that is an incredible country that have done great progress, just like Don and Nigeria in South Africa in many different ways. But again, what is the quality and the level of affordability that people have specially women who are already facing different levels of inequality as members of the society? It puts them at a disadvantage. Women traditionally will, because of income gaps and other kinds of structural inequalities, also have access to much lower a functional devices. So even when people say, well, women, the the gender gap in mobile uses is is reducing. Well, yes and no. It's reducing, because people have what you call a mobile phone on their pockets.
But that mobile phone is not a smartphone is not a tablet is not a computer that allows them to actually benefit from the functionality of digital services and products that the world is really bringing upon all of us. And so, because of that reality, we need to think about these services and all of these possibilities, not just understanding the reality that women and girls face in their countries in their regions, but also what can policymakers, and what can a private sector and civil society do to change that frankly very bleak Picture right now, and so that we I hope you can manage to review, not just by paper, but all the other amazing papers that incredible researchers submitted to the expert group meeting that the Csw. Organized. It was a fantastic discussion. I wish all of you could have been there. I learned so much from our peers in the space, but a couple of things that I'll highlight. One is, if Paul, if countries, if governments, national governments have what they call digital policies, broadband plans, ICT policies that do not have gender specific targets and considerations by default, they will fail, and they are not addressing these massive problems, that the digital gender graphs you know exist that are there in terms of the digital gender grab, but also the different dimensions of that gender gap, including the rural urban divides the age divides.
You know the regional and national divides all of these concerns that for me are very important. So having and making sure that policy, regulatory framework are updated to have serious commitment to the gender targets and I'm when I say June, the targets, I'm not just saying we're gonna make sure that 50%. Of women have access to the Internet. It's more specific than that. It's reducing the gaps is having serious programming and projects that are going to tackle the problem right? And there's many ways of doing that that we can talk about. Some countries are starting to do that. It's very important to integrate all of you in these discussions.
We are Gdp work with governments in a way that is very much multi-stakeholder in in nature, and that means that we bring civil society, private sector, public sector together to do develop and design policies that are more gender responsive. And this is really important, because myself or many of the government experts, including are not the ones who know better the realities of women in rural areas, Nigeria or Bangladesh or Columbia, right? So you need to have the organizations. Women's organizations and gender access folks in the different sectors coming together and really helping design, influencing how policies need to be shaped to be able to be implementable as well so so that's really important the other thing. That is also really important in terms of a recommendation is for governments, and all of their partners to be wiser about dedicating resources to tackle these specific problem. We know that technology is not neutral. We know that policies are not neutral from agenda perspective.
And so we really need it's it's kind of like affirmative action as some people like to say, you need to be specific. You need to be very firm and affirmative as to what you're trying to achieve, and and if we're not, we're not gonna get there right. If there's no accountability, there's nothing that needs to be measured to show that you've done progress in X area, it's not going to happen. So not just in terms of the policy design and the targets of the policies, but the commitment of resources to secure actual implementation of policy and projects and programs is critical. So we need to make sure that budgets and resources are dedicated to ensuring that the digital gender gap is tackled. And actually this picture changed. And what I can tell you is that I'm mostly very disappointed by the world at large, because in the last decade the digital gender gap has pretty much stayed the same and while there's been progress in many ways when you measure, it we're not doing enough not
Only we're not doing enough. We're not being able to change that picture. And because the needs of higher a different level of connectivity continue to increase, we are actually allowing greater inequality and exclusion to take place. And I don't want to see that, so I'll come back to a couple of things cause I wanna I wanna be conscious of time. Julian, but there's a couple of things that I would like to share in terms of some of these points that I just raised. Thank you.
So yeah, you just blew my mind. And I'm actually gonna call on Karla because she's done a bit of research and homework on all of the work that you've been doing. Carla, if you'd like to ask your question to Sonia. Hello! Thank you so much, Sonia, for zoom presentation.
It was really complete. Well, I would like to ask what will be an advice that do you have for us annuals and a specifically as ask you leaders, this is our future. So how can we advocate and look to promote lifelong digital literacy That's a very good question. Thank you. It and the answer could be a whole hour. So I'll have to be very careful. So there's a few things I would say.
Start by being informed, knowing the language that you need to use having the facts having the evidence so that you can influence dialogues, be part of the dialogue, so as youth and this is true, not just youth, but for all different organizations, especially organizations, that work on gender Advocacy. They on top of issues being formed, be ready and equipped to participate in policy, dialogues in decision-making processes. Don't be on the sidelines. Don't be on the margins. Do everything that you can to be at the center of those discussions. Most governments are required to have public consultations when it comes to decision-making around policy making.
And what I can tell you is that some times they actually promote those kinds of coffee. But the realities that in practice very few organizations actually participate in partially because they are not at the level that they feel they are literate to be part of that player. Log right? Carla so, and others, because they are intimidated by speaking with governments, by confronting private sector and other organizations that sometimes are big or more equipped. Don't be afraid, every voice counts, and the truth is, your context is the context that is going to be most interesting to remind them of the reality that they are voted to be thinking about. If policymakers are not working in the public interest, then they are not doing their job, and the public interest is making sure that they listen to you. Listen to your concerns and even if you cannot articulate those concerns in the language that they think is their language, while they also need to learn your language, so I think it's a reciprocal process but it's one that really takes it takes time.
It takes resources, it takes commitment, but partially, it's being informed. Know your evidence, there's many organizations that I'm sure are here today are the developing research reports that have a lot of really good information only a few now get to come and make your mark. And be heard and when you do that, I can assure you policymakers are politicians as well.
They will listen, so be there, be present This is so valuable. Thank you so much. We just had an event yesterday related with Joseph Buccane, and I think that this is really important to share with them. I hope that's one of them could be here with us today. But this is really really important. Thank you so much. Of course you're welcome. I want to say thank you to Sonia and to Kala, because, you know, you really got the crowd going.
And I think it's a perfect opportunity to now call on Matthew Wong. The second thing, secretary of Digital Cooperation, on cyber security at the permanent mission of Singapore Matthew, you've heard from Unicef. You've heard from proponents, and what we as Ngos, are thinking of of suggesting. We've also read and understood some of the Sgs roadmap. Are you able to share with us on what to expect in the year ahead? Are we moving in the right direction? Sonia talks about, you know, talking at all levels.
So I'd like to invite you. Now, Matthew, if you'd like to share our reasons to be hopeful from your perspective. Thank you, Julian, and well, I guess I'll start off by. Thanking you and the other organizers for inviting me to speak on this very distinguished panel. So. Yes, I think you know there are many reasons to be hopeful for the year. It's quite an exciting year. But first of all is Julian mentioned. I'm a diplomat at the feminine mission.
It's like good, Paul, I think, primarily, primarily work on digital and cyber issues. So I'm before addressing the specific topic of today's discussion. I just want to set the stage for a few words about Singapore's overall approach to us. Gender equality. So in Singapore we are committed to supporting.
Women by building a fair, and included society where men and women progress together and pursue the aspirations freely and to the fullest, and in this way our approach is founded on the principal, and maryocracy, where equal opportunities are available to both men and women, so keep that in mind I just want to share some thoughts and reflections now, in my personal capacity on the theme of today's discussion, and I'll share this from the perspective of a political officer in a national delegation. So working of Ngo is working about the Member States. True to UN. System, to achieve change and positive progress. So the next 2 years are going to be a really pivotal period for digital discussions at the UN. As some of you may be aware, we are about to start discussions on the global digital contract and to give some background. For there was who are not familiar with this. The Secretary General, in his outcoming agenda report, proposed the development of a global digital contact that will outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all and these discussions are going to be taking place over the course of this Year next year, and the hope is that there will be a final document that we can agree at the summit of the future in September 2024.
So that essentially sets out the sets, the sets out the roadmap for what's going to happen on digital over the next 2 years, and which is why I think you know Jillian, to answer your question. This is quite a hopeful period. That's a lot of potential to really make a difference. Now, so second, Paul is we're very strongly supportive of the global digital compact in our national capacity. We've been actively engaged, and from our perspective we see the compact as an opportunity for the international community to set out this common framework for digital transformation that can improve lives and power people and most importantly advanced the Sdgs so I hope is that essentially it serves as a Positive foundation that will guide our development of the digital landscape in the Us. To come. So the, I suppose you know some of you might be wondering what exactly the global digital contract is gonna be is gonna be looking at, gonna be trying to cover. And the Secretary General has proposed, a a set of issues that he thinks that a compact should focus on, so one of the main issues is connectivity.
So what song you just spoke about, you know, in many parts of the world people do not have meaningful connectivity, and we need to find a way to close that gap. So that's one of the big things that we will be talking about in the global digital compact discussions. There's also people about data protection, human rights misleading content, artificial intelligence and digital public goods from Singapore perspective. We also think that the compact should cover issues like online safety data flows of digital skills and electricity and of course, capacity. But so very clear that in the context of LED, education, digital education, many of these issues, you know things.
I connectivity, things like digital public goods, these things sort of the basic building blocks that we need to deliver the kind of game-changing digital initiatives that Matt was speaking about earlier. And you know, as Sophia mentioned as well in her presentation, today's digital landscape is characterized by these deep cross cutting inequality. You have the digital development gap, you have the digital gender gap.
You're the rural up and divide. You have this massive lack of digital inclusion in many parts of the world. And the global digital compact is essentially uses this opportunity to, you in a way, press the reset button, set out some common principles and goals in each of the areas. Outline that will help us close these divide, move, move towards a more equal and empower digital landscape, and you know that that, of course, will help address many of the inequalities that are faced by the most modular marginalized and the most disadvantage. Including, you know, those inequalities that are faced by women and goals around the world.
So. The hope is that my hope, my personal hope, is that the global Global digital compact and act as a capitalist to execute the possibilities that we have for delivering digital education, digital inclusion in a way that can move us towards gender parity so that being said governments Cannot do this alone, and this is where th this is why I comment my message to you. The Ngo is, you know, any progress that we make at the UN. Towards harnessing digital education, any progress that we make to us? How harnessing, digital inclusion to move us to as gender equality will need an involvement of stakeholders, including businesses, including Ngos doing a private sector. So the Secretary General has already envisioned that discussions on the global Digital Compact will include a prominent and multi-stateholder component. I understand that all of the endos on this call are primarily involved in Csw.
Discussions. And yeah, of course, that's that's that committee process. And the global digital callback is a second committee process. So you know some of you may not be as familiar with that side of the house at the UN, because obviously, you know, the UN is, you know, we're quite silo. It's we. We we split ourselves into these committees, and then we specialize in these committees. But you know this is the cross-cutting issue. Agenda as a cross cutting issue and you know, while it may be outside your usual area of familiarity, you know, we need your expertise in in our discussions on the global digital compact relating to gender equality relating to the empowerment of when it goes we need that That's on our side of the house is also very much encourage you to bring your voices that bring your messages there and share your expertise.
Engage in a conversation with us so so my hope is that, working together over the next 2 years, we can harness the collective energy of all delegations and stakeholders to create a meaningful global digital compact that can serve as a positive foundation for for the digital world in the us to come thank you Very much. Matthew. Y'all words music to my years because you talked more about interaction about partnerships, about how to engage more, and that's really helpful for us over the next 2 years and so I'm going to bring rear back onto the call with a bit of a question for you more to push you more on what you said. So, Ria, if you're around, if you'd like to join us Hi, Julian, thank you. Thank you, Matthew, as well.
In the spirit of partnership and collaboration amongst all stakeholders. What tips, tricks, advice would you have for us in our advocacy in achieving gender, Paddy, through digital education Thank you, Ria, I think I would say that there are a few things that that's right. From from the perspective of a Member State. I think it would be very helpful for us, Ngos, as people speaking out to keep in mind, I think I would say the first thing to do is to remember that you are part of an Endio communities, or your you obviously you represent your position, but you also are part of this community of so much expertise and so much diversity.
So I would say, work together with others in the community to amplify your message, because, you know there the strength of the Ngo community is that they are is the diversity right in this in this call alone we have 300 participants, but also from the challenges that if I mistake t actually 100 statements. I get 300 pieces. Of input. It's it's a bit challenging to to then distill that into something. Actionable, something something that reflects, you know, where. Reflect the key concerns and the key things that we need to address. So I would say, work together with with others, you know. Come up with, join input, join statements, and that will amplify your message, because sometimes it's not about saying the same thing many, many times. It's about is about getting the message down to what's really important, and then putting that in front of the people that need to hear it, so that's that's I think the first thing that I will say.
Is, hey attention to the specific issues, that are being discussed. And I say this because I'm sure as many of you are familiar. With the discussions that the UN. Can tend to get very esoteric sometimes.
So you know you're talking. You're talking about connectivity. But actually, there's a big fight going on about some specific aspect of connectivity. And if you come in as an edio and you deliver, say, your general statement or why connectivity is important, you're not going to make the impact at that point in negotiations, because you know, we we had a general statement. But at that point, what's really being argued about something very specific. So, if you eat very close track of what's actually what actually is the, you know, the primary method as being that's being discussed as being argued over. And if you come in with something that directly relevant to that, that's why you can make a very, very important impact.
Because I mean we are listening up for that. So we are listening. Our opposite potential solutions, potential ideas. But we in a in a way, it'