Empowering communities: partnerships for access to services – TOPIC 02 Sub 03 2024

From EuroDIG Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

18 June 2024 | 17:00 - 17:45 EEST | Auditorium
Consolidated programme 2024 overview

Sessions are organised in a multi-stakeholder bottom up manner. Anyone interested in the topic can become a member of the Org Team. The EuroDIG session principles must be followed.

Title and all sections of this page should be finalised by .

DO NOT edit the title yourself, the link to your session may otherwise disappear. Please send the final title as early as possible to wiki@eurodig.org.

Main Topic 2: GovTech – putting people first in digitising public services and the use of data
Working title: Subtopic 3: Access to services
Proposals: (#2) (#3) (#11) #28 #46 (see list of proposals)

You are invited to become a member of the Session Org Team by simply subscribing to the mailing list. By doing so, you agree that your name and affiliation will be published at the relevant session wiki page. Please reply to the email send to you to confirm your subscription.

Kindly note that it may take a while until the Org Team is formed and starts working.

To follow the current discussion on this topic, see the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page.

Session teaser

While Europe can be considered the champion of Internet access, stable connectivity and the possibility to access online services may be a challenge for some communities, especially in remote areas or in areas at war. The digital divide results in a social divide, leaving many citizens beyond the opportunities of modern society. This session aims to discuss technical and strategic solutions and the roles of different actors in addressing digital inequality affecting the citizens of Europe and beyond.

Session description

The pandemic accelerated the digital shift, underscoring the digital divide. In 2020, 466 million people gained internet access for the first time, with global usage and penetration increasing by 7% and 6%, respectively, from 2021 to 2022. However, as of 2022, 2.7 billion people lack internet access, and 53% lack high-speed broadband, risking exacerbation of economic, political, and social inequalities. Policymakers must address this global digital gap, considering continental disparities in technology access and use.

The issue of digital access and divides is multifaceted, lacking a single cause or linear effect. Disparities in internet and mobile device access vary by geographic location, gender, age, and rural vs. urban populations. In 2022, Europe boasted 89% internet penetration, while Africa lagged at 40%. Additionally, there are 264 million fewer women than men online, and younger populations are more connected. Urban areas typically have double the internet users of rural areas.

However, the digital divide extends beyond mere access to encompass divides in digital skills, usage, infrastructure quality, and access to content. The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) divides its goals for bridging the digital divide into two categories: universal connectivity and meaningful connectivity, encompassing various types of access.

Various approaches have been employed to mitigate digital divides, evolving from a focus on infrastructure access to encompassing digital skills, usage gaps, and societal internet awareness. Numerous initiatives and strategic plans from intergovernmental bodies and private companies are addressing these issues.

The United Nations leads initiatives such as the Broadband Commission and the Giga Initiative to ensure universal internet connectivity and connect schools worldwide. UNHCR’s Innovation Service promotes digital access for refugees, while the UN Commission on the Status of Women focuses on embedding gender inclusivity into the digital economy.

Private actors also contribute to solving digital divide components. Space X's Starlink expands broadband to remote areas, while Google's Next Billion Users initiative creates digital products based on user research. These initiatives often target specific aspects of the divide, providing funding for resource-constrained public sectors.

This session aims to accelerate progress and ensure that various efforts complement, rather than undermine, one another.


Panel discussion

Further reading


Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.

Programme Committee member(s)

  • Inga Rimkevičienė
  • Riccardo Nanni

The Programme Committee supports the programme planning process throughout the year and works closely with the Secretariat. Members of the committee give advice on the topics, cluster the proposals and assist session organisers in their work. They also ensure that session principles are followed and monitor the complete programme to avoid repetition.

Focal Point

  • Laura Guobužaitė, Head of Export and Market Development at Lithuania‘s DigiTech association ‚Infobalt‘

Focal Points take over the responsibility and lead of the session organisation. They work in close cooperation with the respective Programme Committee member(s) and the EuroDIG Secretariat and are kindly requested to follow EuroDIG’s session principles

Organising Team (Org Team) List Org Team members here as they sign up.

  • Amali De Silva – Mitchell

The Org Team is a group of people shaping the session. Org Teams are open and every interested individual can become a member by subscribing to the mailing list.

Key Participants

Key participants will include representatives and experts from Lithuania and abroad who possess personal experience in leading significant digital transformation reforms and addressing the digital divide.


Remote Moderator

Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.


Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:

  • dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
  • short summary of calls or email exchange

Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.


A short summary of the session will be provided by the Reporter.

Video record

Will be provided here after the event.


Will be provided here after the event.