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Over the past decade, the world has witnessed a rise in platforms and the growing platformization of work. Many of the new forms of work are being generated in the gig economy. These trends are also pervasive in India. While these developments have resulted in increased access to work for women, they are also characterized by higher levels of uncertainty and lesser incentives for skills- and capacity-building, among other challenges. What lessons can be learned from India regarding the creation of more equitable access to jobs in the digital economy? What are some of the policy considerations to overcome these challenges? This episode responds to these core questions.
The future of work podcast series was created on behalf of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Digital Dots Talks – Episode 4 – the (gender) digital divide
In this episode, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) gives us an original overview
on how to address the digital divide and the gender digital divide.
- How to address development challenges in the digital era?
- How to ensure meaningful connectivity and ensure that no one is left behind?
These are some of the questions discussed in this episode.
For more information on this podcast series, and to register for email notifications for new episodes, go to: https://www.permanentrepresentations.nl/permanent-representations/pr-un-geneva/podcasts
DigitalDots Talks podcast is presented by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Geneva and the Geneva Internet Platform. Let me know when the info is updated.
Every country and every sector are affected by the digital revolution, irreversibly scaled up by the recent global health crisis. However, not everyone can equally partake of the benefits that established and emerging technologies bring about. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), through its Division on Technology and Logistics, supports developing countries in their efforts to adapt to the digital revolution and access the benefits of the global digital economy more fairly and more effectively, thereby stimulating inclusive and sustainable development. Through a longstanding partnership with UNCTAD in the framework of its Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) and eTrade for All programmes, the UPU ensures that the postal network is effectively integrated in technology transfer and trade facilitation processes, helping bridge the digital divide across communities.
More about this important collaboration, the role of the postal network in facilitating e-commerce for small businesses, the benefits of “smart” technologies for the Post, and the emerging data divide – on the Voice Mail episode with Shamika Sirimanne, Director of the UNCTAD’s Division on Technology and Logistics.
The ninth episode of UNCTAD’s Weekly Tradecast talks about protecting consumers in an increasingly online world with Teresa Moreira, head of UNCTAD’s competition and consumer policies branch. The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the way we shop. During lockdowns, huge numbers of us went online to buy food, clothes, household goods and entertainment.
That convenience is now part of our lives and in how we spend as more people use credit cards and “buy now, pay later” options at checkout. But consumers face many risks as online shopping grows – not least as the world struggles with a cost-of-living crisis.
Listen in to Teresa to find out what to do if you’ve been scammed and how to tell whether an online marketplace is safe.
In our sixth episode of The Weekly Tradecast, we’re talking about cryptocurrencies with economist Marina Zucker of UNCTAD’s debt and development finance branch.
After some incredible gains over two years, the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been plunging in recent months. More turbulence is likely. Some people have made a lot of money from crypto but many have not been so lucky with the volatile and unregulated digital asset. Scams, collapsing funds, stolen credentials and forgotten passwords have cost investors millions. Are cryptocurrencies here to stay? Is it time for governments to regulate them? Tune in to hear Marina spell out the risks and share her ideas about solutions. Downloads:
- All that glitters is not gold: The high cost of leaving cryptocurrencies unregulated
- Public payment systems in the digital era: Responding to the financial stability and security-related risks of cryptocurrencies
- The cost of doing too little too late: How cryptocurrencies can undermine domestic resource mobilization in developing countries
En este nuevo episodio conversamos con Rodrigo Filgueira, especialista en digitalización, innovación pedagógica y formación docente de OIT/Cinterfor, sobre ¿qué es la digitalización? ¿cuál es la realidad en América Latina? y ¿en qué medida la aparición de tecnologías digitales impactan en los sistemas de formación profesional?
International trade has progressed enormously since the founding of the WTO in 1995. The world trades a lot more – from just over 5 trillion dollars’ worth of goods in 1995 to more than 22 trillion dollars in 2021. The world also trades in new ways – e-commerce accounts for more than 20 percent of total retail sales worldwide. Supply chains have also revolutionized trade, leading to the rise of products made “in the world”. Despite this radical transformation, the WTO and the rules of trade remain largely unchanged. Ambassador Didier Chambovey of Switzerland, the General Council Chair, and the WTO’s Joan Apecu talk about the efforts to keep the organization fit for purpose and ready to respond to the realities of 21st century commerce.
In Lumonga village, situated in a remote part of the West Nile region of northern Uganda, smallholder farmers have traditionally been cut off from the banking system, and been forced to rely on small savings and loans from their community to survive hard times.
For the second episode in our Lid Is On mini-series recorded in northern Uganda, Conor Lennon from UN News went to Lumonga village, to see how digital technology is helping the farmers to get connected, and have a better chance of getting the finance they need to buy basic equipment, grow more crops, and sell more produce.
Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Audio: UN News/ Conor Lennon
Life is about transitions–at work, in our personal lives, as we age. Diverse megatrends – from demographics to climate change, from globalization to technological advances and digitalization – are transforming the world of work in ways that are presenting, sometimes new turbulence to the difficult transitions throughout our lives. What’s more, the COVID pandemic has further added to the transitions we’re facing.
A solid understanding of labour market transition patterns and of people’s aspirations and needs is essential to ensuring protected and effective transitions. This episode aims to enhance global knowledge of such patterns for informed and timely policymaking, particularly in emerging and developing countries and identifies the role digitalization plays as a driver of changing transition patterns but also as a facilitator of transitions.
The pandemic accelerated the digitalization of small businesses, which had to adapt very quickly to the new circumstances.
But going digital goes beyond the purely technological aspect. It is about changing the whole way a company operates, in a transition that can affect its finances and its employees.
Dr Sandy Chong, who specializes in helping companies to go digital, explains how they are coping with these challenges.
In this episode Ambassador Henri Verdier, Ambassador for Digital Affairs of France, sheds light on the risks of a fragmented internet and debates on the responsible behaviour of actors in cyberspace, especially in case of cyber conflicts. The discussion is led by Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Head of the Geneva Internet Platform.
For more information on this podcast series, and to register for email notifications for new episodes, go to: https://www.permanentrepresentations.nl/permanent-representations/pr-un-geneva/podcasts
DigitalDots Talks podcast is presented by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Geneva and the Geneva Internet Platform.
The exponential rise of technology and its widespread adoption has led to a dual effect. On the one hand, there are a rising number of devices and electronics in the market, exacerbating an already growing waste and resource challenge. On the other hand, new technology has also led to an increase in digital solutions and innovation that is a catalyst to transforming electronic value chains towards a circular model.
Doreen Bogdan-Martin speaks with Dr. Naoko Ishii, Executive Vice President, Professor at Institute for Future Initiative, Director, Center for Global Commons, University of Tokyo, on the opportunities that digitalization and connectivity bring to the transition towards a circular economy for electronics, particularly in building sustainable e-waste management systems.
Interviewer: Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU
Over the past two years, e-commerce with its astonishing growth rates became a popular headline of postal news. Deadly for certain industries, the pandemic has turned into a powerful catalyzer for others, putting pressure on companies to search for additional capacity to keep up with the ever-growing demand. That was the case for Ecuadorian start-up “Tipti”. Led by a woman entrepreneur, this online marketplace experienced ten-fold growth, making it the fastest growing e-commerce company in the country. Its CEO and Co-Founder Pierangela Sierra provides a benchmark and inspiration for many women across Latin America. On the 10th episode of Voice Mail, Ian Kerr talked to Pierangela, who is also an UNCTAD eTrade for Women Advocate for Latin America, about the e-commerce landscape in the region, the challenges of overcoming the digital divide, meeting the escalating demand for convenient service and building an e-commerce career as a woman.
Every day, billions of people connect with others, purchase services from businesses – all within a click of a button from their electronic devices. These new, rapidly unfolding processes and forms of content, distributed in a variety of digital formats, offer salient opportunities and scope for innovation. What is the government’s role in supporting the evolution and promotion of the digital economy?
In this episode of “Innovation Matters”, Professor Carin Holroyd and Professor Ken Coates, both from the University of Saskatchewan, explore the nature, implications, potential and risks of government policy on the digital economy. According to their publication “The Global Digital Economy: A Comparative Policy Analysis”, governments still tend to underestimate and misunderstand the economic potential of the digital content sector due to old mindsets about the traditional industrial economy. Governments still may not know how to support digital content companies – although this is changing in the light of the successes of Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta, and the like. As our guests show, experiences from the frontrunners in East Asia – most notably from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore – provide fascinating opportunities to take a closer look at the public use of digital technologies and to consider government policies and efforts to expand the sector. The episode includes success stories of the rising stars of the digital economy, particularly valuable for countries in transition, and ends with key 3 tips for policymakers in the region in devising the most effective digital economy strategy.
The livelihoods of one billion people around the world depend on affordable and secure money transfers from their loved ones working abroad, known as international remittances. In 2021, migrant workers sent an estimated USD 605 billion to their families, a staggering 8.6 percent up from the previous year. Having pushed a vast amount of informal money flows to the digital space, the pandemic revealed the real face of remittances along with their ever-growing importance. When linked to other financial services, such as loans or insurance, remittances can have a profound development impact in emerging economies and increase their resilience to future crises.
As Posts are reinventing themselves by expanding their portfolio in digital financial services, entering the remittances market can turn them into powerful agents of financial inclusion. UPU spoke to Pedro de Vasconcelos, Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and originator of the International Day of Family Remittances (16 June), about how Posts, through inclusive finance, can bring financial literacy to rural areas to change the lives of millions of people, one at a time.
Digitalization is changing the nature, mode, and pace of work. This means the skilling and re-skilling of workers will be essential if enterprises and entire industries are to maintain and increase functionality and productivity, effectively manage shocks, ensure, and sustain the well-being and livelihoods of workers, and create decent jobs. Understanding and anticipating the evolving skills needs is a crucial step that can guide the training of workers. This episode explores labour market skills needs, and how education, training and lifelong learning can effectively skill and re-skill workers throughout their lives in an evolving and increasingly digitalized labour market.
This podcast episode features an interview with ILO Senior Skills and Employability Specialist and Team Leader on Skills Strategies for Future Labour Markets Olga Strietska-Ilina.
Two billion people – more than six out of ten workers in the world – make their living in the informal economy. The ILO estimates that some 1.6 billion of these workers have been significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic. Among them, women and young workers have been particularly hard hit.
What is to be done? One emerging solution is technology. The ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work recognizes the role of technological innovation in driving change in the world of work and its human-centred approach, and promotes harnessing the potential of technological progress to achieve decent work and sustainable development.In this podcast, ILO Employment Policy Specialist Juan Chacaltana and Technical Officer, Vicky Leung discuss emerging policy trends in how technology can facilitate the transition to the formal economy, or e-formality, and some of the challenges.
Many countries have a very young workforce. While this population dividend can have a positive impact on growth and development, young people often can’t find decent jobs in formal work settings. Now, there is a growing trend toward work that has gone on-line, and is staying on-line. This episode explores how digitalization through “crowd working” platforms can be used as a tool to tap into the labour market potential of a young population, facilitate the creation of new jobs, and further the development and economic growth of an increasing number of societies.
The episode features an interview with Niall O’Higgins, Senior Economist in the ILO’s Employment Analysis Unit, Employment Policy Department.
Rodney Taylor, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, discusses digital transformation and the potential role of the post:
- The emotion of international mail
- Innovation in telecommunications and IT in Barbados
- Digital transformation’s critical role in supporting peoples and governments
- Delivering government services digitally
- The CTU’s role and mandate, from establishment by CARICOM through to understanding the “metaverse”
- Supporting CARICOM single market and economy through telecommunications
- Key areas of digital transformation the CTU is working on, including accessing government services online
- Opportunities for collaboration with postal operators in digital transformation
- How the pandemic fuelled innovation and development in digital transformation, and partnerships with the post Scope for working with other international organisations
- Trends in regional e-commerce
- Inclusion of all social groups in digital transformation
- .post top level domain and cyber security
- Raising awareness of cyber crime and cyber security, and including provisions for cyber crime and data protection in legislation
- International and cross-sector cooperation in internet and data governance.
The COVID-19 pandemic sent advanced and developing economies into starkly divergent paths—with advanced economies expected to recover fully by 2023 and developing economies expected to lag for years to come. Developing economies have nevertheless embraced innovative digital solutions that are enabling economic transformation and putting them on a path toward green, resilient, and inclusive growth.
Private and public investment in digital solutions is bringing critical services to the poorest, creating jobs, strengthening small and medium businesses, enabling trade and services, and building resilience to shocks. At the same time, more than half the developing world remains digitally unconnected, and risks around privacy and cybersecurity are growing worldwide. During the 2022 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings, we explored how countries can boost growth, productivity, inclusion and resilience as they recover by embracing private sector innovation coupled with enabling government policy. World leaders came together to discuss how to best build resilience & manage uncertainty.
Listen to the Spring Meetings highlights in a special series of The Development Podcast.
Increasing digitalization and use of new technologies have pushed employment policies in new directions worldwide. In the wake of the recent pandemic, while there has been an increase in the number of workers in informal employment, digitalization and technology are also helping others transition to formal employment through a process called E-formality. At the same time, the digital and technical evolution in public employment services (PES) that help match workers with jobs and employers find the workers they need, is playing a critical role in supporting a recovery from the pandemic and other labour market disruptions.
One of the many challenges stemming from COVID-19, particularly in the context of the world’s least developed countries, relates to the deployment of capital. Fast tracking of payments and capital will be essential to the goal of supporting LDCs in the context of COVID-19, from providing financial support to vulnerable populations, to disbursing grants to SMEs, to sending payments to healthcare workers who are on the frontlines. As with the current virus, digital payments were essential in the context of two other significant challenges: the Nepal Earthquake and the Ebola virus. So what are the lessons we can take from those experiences that are applicable with COVID-19?
We invited UNCDF’s Jaspreet Singh and Ali Akram, both of whom have experience with respect to digital payments during the Nepal Earthquake and Ebola virus, to share their views on the Capital Musings podcast. This interview also offers a preview of a webinar that UNCDF will be conducting on April 20th on fast track digital payments in response to COVID-19 and beyond.
The term “digital economy” will soon become a redundancy, because economies will be largely, if not entirely, digital. But how can we ensure that digital economies are also inclusive and resilient? Three practices leaders in UNCDF’s Policy Accelerator Team–Ahmed Dermish, Olivia Kelly-Lonkeu and Amani Itatiro–discuss the importance and complexity behind supporting policy ecosystems that ensure digital economies are inclusive versus exclusive, particularly in the world’s least developed countries.
- Using the mail to keep in touch
- What Tipti is, and how it was created
- Mobile and internet adoption in Ecuador
- The pandemic’s impact on online grocery
- Future growth in e-commerce in Ecuador and Latin America
- The role of the post in encouraging e-commerce
- Environmental impact of e-commerce delivery
- Gender equality and forging a career in Latin America Startups and women
- Female representation in Tipti, and empowering women
- How UNCTAD helps women and entrepreneurs
The growth of digital labour platforms is presenting opportunities and challenges for workers and businesses around the world. Uma Rani, Senior Economist at the ILO and author of the World Employment and Social Outlook report 2021, explains the need for dialogue and regulatory cooperation in order to provide decent work opportunities in the sector. She is joined by several platform workers who share their experiences and hopes for the future of their work.
Sabine Mensah, UNCDF regional digital lead for West Africa, explains how digitization benefits entrepreneurs, consumers, governments and small businesses across the region.
Because of the focus on SDG 5 during the month of March, the next three episodes of Capital Musings will focus on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Digital has delivered the hope of financial inclusion for communities traditionally left behind by the global financial architecture, women and girls in particular. But digital has also shown a capability to increase as many divides as it bridges. So, what can be done to ensure that digital so that no woman is left behind, including women in the world’s least developed countries? As we focus on gender equality and SDG 5 during the month of March, we welcome Nandini Harihareswara to talk about her work at the intersection of digital finance and women’s economic empowerment, and to unveil UNCDF’s digital strategy for women’s economic empowerment.
To all of the supporters of UNCDF and Capital Musings, we are thinking of all of you and we hope that you are navigating through this time as best as possible. You can find up-to-date information, guidance, and media resources on COVID-19 by going to the World Health Organization’s website. Thank you.
Several weeks ago, there was a question regarding sustainable development that we wanted to address: what is the connection between transitioning from cash to digital payments and achievement of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality? This one question led to others: Where is successful cash digitization currently taking place? Why is 2020 such a critical year for women in the context of economic empowerment? And what is the call to action to governments, international organizations, and the private sector? We were fortunate enough to have Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance, join us for Episode 11 of Capital Musings. The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
Note: This was recorded on February 25th
How could crypto technologies change the international development sector? The World Bank’s Global Director of Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, Jean Pesme, discusses how blockchain could revolutionize aspects of economic development from trade to remittances. Also, we explore the promise and the pitfalls of this increasingly popular technology. ‘The less intermediaries you have, the easier it is to do it. The more the costs are going to go down, the more transparency you could have, using the data mechanism,’ said Jean Pesme on cross-border remittances. Listen now this episode of The Development Podcast!