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How do we use digital technologies to face the pandemic? Hereafter some insights:

·       People consider digital technologies as the first step to work out many dilemmas caused by the crisis.

·       How can we keep under control the transmission and dispersion of the virus?

·       How do we keep providing Education to the many people who have to stay at home?

·       Are Digital technologies complying with human rights?

·       Whether local or regional, are governments performing transparent management when deploying digital technologies to deal with the crisis?

Due to the ongoing dissemination of the virus, governments set up significant restrictions on people’s mobility, physical distancing rules, and the interruption of available services. In this context, Technology has a promising-overpowering role in people’s daily lives that ensures access to health services, information and communication with expert authorities.

Governments at all levels on the foremost of the COVID-19 pandemic look for digital technologies to support the supervision, prediction, and impact of its dispersion, grant Education for students who cannot access school, and foster social cohesion respecting physical distancing.

Above all, governments insist on protecting human rights when using digital technologies to shorten the socioeconomic division and advocate the digital transformation necessary to keep up worldwide agendas. Likewise, local and regional governments have to guarantee that this digital transformation does not put aside any person or any place in a context where prevailing inequalities could still expand further.

We must leverage Technology application with human rights principles to protect citizens, take care of essential services, better communicate life-saving actions, promote interactions beneficial for all, and preserve transparent-open-exclusive decision-making processes.

Governments must fully engage in enhancing all populations’ lives under the standards of privacy, democracy and freedom of expression. The Coalition of Cities for Digital Rights leads the way to assure people-centred digital future when using data and technologies as tools to enhance public policies.

During the recovery stage, digital technologies must corroborate that citizens and communities begin their everyday lives in a safe-sound-orderly way; the procurement of services flows smoothly to address the most critical emergency concerns, such as digital rights.

To acknowledge and protect digital rights, particularly concerning privacy and inclusion, governments must be comprehensive and inclusive of each individual within the population to close the digital divide.

Local and regional governments work tirelessly to address the crisis; therefore, we all must recognise that in or beyond times of crisis, digital tools act as enablers to accomplish competent authorities’ goals on defending human rights with a centred-viewpoint on citizens. Digital tools are crucial to guaranteeing Health, Education, and social solidarity.

 COVID-19 is an opportunity to bridging the digital divide

Many cities are developing programs to ponder social inclusion by providing digital literacy and training senior citizens to keep digitally-connected to their families. Promoting community engagement and boosting social solidarity like supporting neighbours with shopping, or driving them to medical services contribute to people’s wellbeing. Using the social-digital-platform network, we can help with the maintenance of functional economies worldwide.

Lessons learned

·       Digital technologies are the means to identify ways forwards.

·       COVID-19 is an opportunity to boost efforts towards shortening the digital divide.

·       Digital tools allow us to keep providing essential services and an opportunity for source revenue.

·       Digitalisation supports human rights, as part of public health, on the response to the crisis.

·       The partnerships with governments, communities and industries to surmount the digital divide must go beyond the crisis to secure structural changes and the access to ‘new normal.’

·       Digitalisation offers resources and capacities solutions to favour citizens’ wellbeing directly.

·       Governments must ensure digital techs to those extensive parts of the world’s population not connected to the Internet, and ensure these digital techs do not contribute to further-widen inequalities.

·       Digital tools are essential to coordinate governments’ mandatory actions such as lockdowns, hospital facilities, PPE, workers’ health, medication, vaccines, and much more.

·       Hospital wards demand the collaboration of private suppliers to grant access to the Internet.

·       Digital technology is the solution to Education through multi-channel strategies like public TV, radio broadcasters, and increasing students’ virtual content.

·       Teachers are also relying on technological tools to keep on communicating with students in many ways.

·       Digital technology supports culture, social interaction and community engagement, even if remotely.

·       Digital smart cities must inform the general public on the state of the pandemic for social engagement.

·       When using digital technologies, these cities stressed the importance of transparency and accountability.

·       A digital signature is a secure means that allows people to sign their documents digitally; companies can participate in public proposals through online applications.

Further comments: seeing digitalisation from a social solidarity angle, supports online Education, open data and transparency to ensure continuity of local services telework, increasing online systems to support virtual meetings among public staff and officials.

Is your government embracing digital technologies accordingly to human rights?

Do you see that a digital transformation is vital for your business?


Photo Credit: Prophetic Technology

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