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Invited Session 1

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 | 10:30 - 12:30 | RMIT University


Digital Inclusion and Equality in the Global South and the 2030 SDGs


UNESCO works through its IFAP Programme to promote access to information for all disadvantaged communities and encourages constructive dialogue on information accessibility, with a special focus on access to information and knowledge using accessible digital technologies for the inclusion of disadvantaged communities and marginalized groups.

The rational for this engagement lies in the promotion of digital inclusiveness as an important element of knowledge societies as digital technologies have the potential for making significant improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities, allowing them to enhance their social, cultural, political and economic integration. Inclusive knowledge societies can thus serve as a trigger to reduce inequality (SDG 10) as people living with disabilities can be fully part of society and as a result:

  • Have access to equitable quality education (SDG 4);
  • Be part of inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8);
  • Live in cities that are inclusive, safe and sustainable (SDG 11).


  • Presentation of the use of technologies to enable people living with disabilities to allow them to enhance their social, cultural, political and economic integration;
  • Description of a wide range of bottom-up and top down interventions to mainstream the needs of people living with disabilities in Africa;
  • Input to a variety of indicators that can measure the role of digital technologies in reducing inequalities.


The session will be composed of a thematic debate on a range of interventions that have been put in place in the African context to address the needs of people living with disabilities through technology. The questions and answer sessions – between moderator and panellists and audience and panellists - will provide concrete examples of the kind of interventions that are necessary to address the needs of people living with disabilities. Following the debate, a few indicators will be put forward to measure the impact of technology to reduce inequality with specific reference to people living with disabilities.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - Information for All Programme (UNESCO/IFAP)

The Information for All Programme is an intergovernmental programme created by UNESCO to provide a platform for policy discussion by helping to formulate guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge, in order to ensure equitable participation in Knowledge Societies. The Programme promotes international reflection and debate on the ethical, legal and societal challenges of the information society. IFAP effectively sets out a framework of political standards, international strategies and best practices in its six priority areas.


United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) is a collaborative effort that brings together UN entities, governments, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and the broader civil society to advance disability rights around the world. In particular, the UNPRPD supports coalition building and capacity-development at country level to facilitate the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In doing so, it contributes to the realization of a “society for all” in the 21st century.