No nation is a digital island. Digital is borderless, so how can it be governed?
International coordination presents an opportunity for developing countries to exercise their own voices and develop a governance model that works for them.
The Pathways Commission’s new paper – Digital diplomacy: technology governance for developing countries – highlights that international cooperation is key to making the governance of digital technologies work for developing countries.
Governance of the digital economy can have a massive impact on the ways that technologies can be used. Developing countries have struggled to catch up with the pace of change, and in their attempts to govern technology they have used models exported from the EU and the US, which are often inappropriate for local contexts. Surprisingly little attention is paid to how resource-constrained countries should approach digital regulation – either within their own countries or as an increasingly pressing transnational issue.
The Pathways Commission consulted developing country policymakers, businesses, academics and civil society to identify their key priorities for the international coordination of digital governance. Five principles emerged repeatedly which could guide efforts to make sure that cross-border governance of digital technologies works for developing countries.