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Digital Technology

Digital technology has boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery in much of the world. ADB's initiatives are empowering the poor to use digital technology to help lift themselves out of poverty.

Digital technology: Policies and Strategies

The strategic use of digital technology can facilitate effective and efficient delivery of public services in the key sectors of telecommunications, governance, education, health, and agriculture.

In 2003, ADB published its digital technology strategy, Toward E-Development in Asia and the Pacific: A Strategic Approach for Information and Communication Technology. The strategy’s three main goals are to:

  1. create an enabling environment through policy improvements, public institution strengthening, and relevant infrastructure provision
  2. build human resources for digital technology literacy and professional skills
  3. develop digital technology applications and information content through ADB-supported projects and activities

In 2016, the background report, Road to 2030: Information and Communications Technology in ADB's Corporate Strategy and Operations was released. This document highlighted the current state of digital technology, trends and applications, and recent and upcoming challenges within the sector.

Digital Technology: Funding and Partnerships

“ICTs have a central role to play in the quest for development, dignity, and peace,” declared United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the meeting of the Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technologies and Development in 2007. On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in May 2011, he also noted that ICT is instrumental in the fight against poverty and hunger, and the delivery of quality services to the most disadvantaged.

Digital Technology Trust Funds

In addition to providing assistance through its usual financing channels, ADB administers ICT Trust Funds.

e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund

The Republic of Korea (ROK) supports the digital technology initiatives of ADB's member countries through the e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund, as well as ADB digital technology initiatives through partnerships with concerned government institutions, such as the Ministry of Public Administration and Security and the National Information Society Agency, for capacity-building, training, and knowledge-sharing of best practices.

Partnerships with Development Organizations

ADB promotes and encourages the implementation of projects with development organizations and other regional partners whose expertise and resources should be maximized in developing new ideas, innovative strategies, and technological platforms.

Partner Organization Joint Initiative

Asian and Pacific Centre for Information and Communication Technology (APCICT)

National Information Society Agency (NIA)

Improving Public Services through Information and Communication Technology

This project, which aims to improve the capacity of governments in select DMCs in using ICTs for the better delivery of public services in key sector areas, such as administration, education, health, transport and agriculture.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Rural Information and Communication Technology Policy Advocacy, Knowledge Sharing, and Capacity Building
This technical assistance aims to contribute to improving policy, legal, and regulatory environments to make them more conducive to the rapid deployment of ICT infrastructure and services for rural development.  

United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

JFICT 9068 Empowering the Rural Areas through Community e-Centers under the SASEC Program

This project aims to reduce poverty, empower communities, and improve the quality of life in rural areas in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal through increased ICT connectivity and accessibility.

Other Partnerships

ADB's assistance in digital technology for development is also carried out through partnership with the private sector and civil society organizations. ADB also encourages public-private partnerships to help promote investments in innovative technologies and strategies.

In 2009, for example, ADB and software company Microsoft began consultations on the possibilities of supporting digital technology-related projects in DMCs. The partnership aims to capitalize on development opportunities created by digital technology in various areas of interest, such as innovation, governance, education, job generation, as well as regional integration and trade.

Digital technology has boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery in much of the world. ADB's initiatives are empowering the poor to use digital technology to help lift themselves out of poverty.