Konstantin Noskov, Head of the Analytical Center for the Government of Russia, said that, not only science fiction writers of the 1970s, but even our contemporaries could not have imagined just 10-20 years ago how information technologies would change our lives. Today, making a video call to another city from a smart phone or searching for a job on the internet have become routine tasks, even for those who live in small towns.
Information technologies permeate our lives, and have tremendous potential when strengthening development. Andras Horvai, Country Director and Resident Representative of the World Bank in Russia, said that much of the world is reaping digital dividends today: companies benefit through economic growth, people benefit through new jobs, and governments are enabled to deliver better services.
And yet, ensuring that the benefits reach everyone will need deliberate effort: the full benefits will only be reaped by further inclusion.
“Digital Dividends” is the first report in the 37-year history of the World Development Report (WDR) to address the role of information and communications technologies in socioeconomic development. The report says that the world is in the midst of the greatest information and communications revolution in human history.
More than 40% of the world’s population has access to the internet, with new users coming online every day. Among the poorest 20% of households, nearly 7 out of 10 have a mobile phone. The poorest households are more likely to have access to mobile phones than to toilets or clean water. However, countries use opportunities offered by information technologies in different ways.