“Overall, the ICDL programme contributed directly to the employment, or enhancement of employment, of 35% of all candidates [within a period of less than five months after certification].”
Egyptian Government’s ICDL for graduates programme
ICT for development describes the efforts to bridge the global digital divide, the chasm that separates those who have access to and the skills to use technology and those who do not. The aim is to foster opportunities through ICT and enable people, particularly those in developing countries, to avail of the considerable potential of ICT to advance socio-economic development, and to participate more fully in an increasingly global knowledge-economy.
If left unchecked, this widening gulf between the computer literacy levels of citizens of developed nations and those of developing nations which will only serve to disadvantage developing countries even further.
Improved digital literacy will not overcome all the challenges facing less developed countries; however, it is a powerful tool in the field of development. By raising the rates of digital literacy in developing nations, individuals, organisations, and societies become more empowered, efficient, and able to successfully manage their own affairs. Actions in the area of sustainable development to provide individuals, communities, and countries with the vital skills to manage their affairs successfully are referred to as capacity building. Click here to view more information on capacity building and ECDL Foundation.
Capacity building is defined by the United Nations Development Programme as:
“..the process by which individuals, groups, organisations, institutions and societies increase their abilities: to perform functions, solve problems and achieve objectives; to understand and deal with their development need in a broader context and in a sustainable manner”.
Measures which improve digital literacy are seen to be an integral component in capacity building as they help to: empower individuals, improve the efficiency and productivity of organisations and local economies, thus increasing the ability to attract foreign direct investment. In the area of education, improved rates of digital literacy and access to ICT can help to “leapfrog” the lag in education levels between those of more developed countries through improved teaching methods, and the potential to access the resources of information available through technology.
Digital literacy facilitates the use of ICT to support international development targets by:
- Acting as a catalyst for the alleviation of poverty
- Enabling the development of knowledge-based economy
- Facilitating access to education online
- Enabling decentralised participatory democracy, good governance and e-citizenship
ECDL Foundation believes that providing all citizens with ICT skills is a critical step to enabling a knowledge-based economy and a global, equitable information society.