Governance, regulations & policies

nclusive digital transformation cannot happen in a vacuum; it must be founded on and driven by governance (regulation, legislation and policies) that seeks the greatest positive impact for individuals and communities. Supportive components can include the sharing of infrastructure between connectivity providers, and incentives for digital entrepreneurship and innovation.

With regard to legislation, of particular importance are data protection and privacy: 71 % of countries around the world have data protection and privacy legislation in place and a further 9 % have drafted legislation. Given the data-driven nature of many digital products and services, this is a crucial foundation for the digital transformation. However, there also needs to be the capacity for enforcement when these laws are violated, and this varies across countries.

Country examples:

Inclusive digital transformation: Bangladesh’s a2i

In 2008, Bangladesh established the a2i—Aspire to Innovate—digital initiative, to create citizen-centric public services and foster national development. This included removing barriers to digital innovation, such as slow government procurement, and creating policies to mobilize the private sector. In 2015, the country embedded the SDGs into all initiatives and KPIs.

Citizens in Bangladesh have saved more than USD 20 billion due to more efficient public service delivery. The widespread, documented successes of a2i's innovations have meant that they are now being replicated in Fiji and other countries through the Digital Public Goods Alliance and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation. By anchoring the programme in its Vision 2041 national strategy, Bangladesh prioritized inclusion in its digital transformation.