Digital Inclusion and Women’s Empowerment Webinar Series

In collaboration with the Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’, Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise (POWER) initiative and the ITU’s Development Sector, the USTTI will conduct a webinar series that aims to address the best practices to connect the unconnected and bridge the divides that affect women and girls.

The sessions, on Monday November 1st, Tuesday November 2nd and Wednesday November 3rd,  will seek to facilitate an exchange of knowledge between those who are working towards increasing connectivity and improving digital inclusion.  We encourage all USTTI Alumni and all who have a strong interest in inclusive digital economic development to join us for these sessions.

Register for all three days using this link:

Monday November 1st – Session 1:  Identifying Gaps to support Data Driven Policymaking

What are some tools that countries and organizations have used to identify connectivity gaps and digital divides? How can regulators and policymakers best incorporate data-driven policy approaches and stakeholder engagement to identify challenges and potential solutions for increasing broadband infrastructure development and adoption in order to connect the unconnected and promote digital inclusion? What are some approaches to support broadband coverage and usage mapping to ensure that policies are reaching those most in need?  How can policy makers identify barriers to adoption among those that are unconnected and ensure that solutions target vulnerable or hard to reach populations, including closing the gender digital divide?

Tuesday November 2nd – Session 2: Promoting Sustainable Development and Inclusive Economic Growth through Digital Inclusion

Broadband access and technical skills are all critical to economic growth and sustainable development. Digital inclusion implies that individuals have access to robust broadband connections, Internet-enabled devices that meet their needs, and the skills to explore, create and succeed in the digital world. How can policymakers and other stakeholders encourage digital inclusion and wider broadband adoption by addressing divides that persist among disadvantaged groups, including women and girls, rural, persons with disabilities, indigenous communities, elderly, etc.? This session will focus principally on closing the broadband adoption and usage gap and seek to share experiences from successful partnerships for promoting digital inclusion, including programs that focus on increasing broadband adoption by women and girls. What policies can help encourage more widespread and inclusive broadband adoption, such as reducing adoption costs or increasing the expected benefits of targeted populations? What are examples of successful programs, particularly in developing countries, to increase digital skills and literacy among under-represented populations?

Wednesday November 3rd – Session 3: Increasing Broadband Access and Connectivity – Technology and Policy Approaches 

Despite great strides towards universal connectivity, there are still areas that remain unconnected to broadband. Rural and remote areas are particularly challenging to reach due to costs and return on investment for deploying infrastructure and providing services. How can we harness technology and policy innovation to close the digital divide? This session will focus on best practices for reducing barriers to investment in broadband infrastructure, identify ways in which universal service funds could be leveraged in innovative ways to promote public-private financing of universal broadband access, and other approaches for sustainable financing and investment models for network development and deployment. It will explore some of the emerging technologies, new business models and deployment approaches that can help bridge this divide.