Linking the role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) with sustainable development, this publication addresses the theme of empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness of societies, leaving no one behind. The publication examines the existing digital transformations and emerging technologies and their central role in the future of digital development, with a special focus on the multidimensional synergy between digital technologies and various strategic and socioeconomic policy areas. Through a regional assessment, the publication evaluates the digital progress and identifies gaps and policy options for enabling digital transformation towards sustainable development. Growing digital technologies in the Arab region and potential developmental challenges are also addressed, together with the proposed policy measures that could allow governments and relevant stakeholders to overcome these challenges and benefit from ICTs and digital transformations.
The publication is based on the National Digital Development Reports received from the member countries participating in the national review exercise and contributions of experts in various areas. It addresses implications of digital technologies on various sectors of the economy and sustainable development. The thematic areas covered are in line with the global trends addressing the linkages of digital technologies with sustainable development and particularly with the periodically identified themes of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Hence, this edition of the report provides a review of digital development in the Arab region, with an eye on the theme of empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness of societies in line with the HLPF theme for 2019.