The digital age is here. It has changed the way people live, work and connect. But digital technologies have the potential to do so much more, especially for the world’s poorest people. 

Countries must act now or millions of marginalised people will be left even further behind. Getting digitally ready takes vision; it requires governments to collaborate and plan with business, civil society and the international community.

The Digital Manifesto offers a roadmap to put developing countries in the driving seat of their own economic development. It offers an evidence-based guide to navigate the digital age to cultivate shared prosperity for all.

Read The Digital Manifesto's ten steps to get ahead in digital age.

The Digital Manifesto's 10 Steps
Expand all +
1. Design a country-wide holistic digital strategy

Agree a national digital compact to manage technology for inclusive development, with buy-in and concrete pledges from government, the private sector and civil society. Donors should support the implementation of such a compact.

2. Empower citizens for the digital age

Ensure women, men, youth and children receive regular training to enable them to meet the demands of a continually evolving digital economy. Use digital platforms to ensure governments are accountable.

3. Secure citizens’ data

Build trust through accountable digital systems, where personal information is secure, and data-use is transparent.

4. Provide a social safety net

Protect those who will be left behind in the digital revolution, with at least initial support from donors and multilateral organisations.

5. Build foundational digital systems

Develop digital finance and digital ID that work seamlessly together, so that citizens can easily access services, and businesses can establish themselves and attract investment.

6. Nurture an enabling investment environment

Close the funding gap for digital start- ups by creating investment funds and financing arrangements that draw in more global capital for local digital projects.

7. End digital exclusion

Ensure basic access to internet, mobile data and electricity is available to all. The private sector and international community should support new business models and the creation of data-light and tech-light services and products to reach poorer customers.

8. Transform the health and education of your population

Use digital technologies to improve the quality, cost-efficiency and reach of public services for a healthier and better-educated population.

9. Create adaptive localised tech regulations

Laws and regulations need to be flexible to keep up with the rapid speed of technological change. Do not import global tech policies wholesale, but use your data and context to customize country-specific laws that work for your country.

10. Coordinate internationally

No country is a digital island. Countries need to ensure that cross- border regulations benefit everyone. Countries should coordinate with each other on tech governance. Richer nations must make space for developing countries in global rule- making.

Why The Digital Manifesto matters