The transformational benefits of connectivity must be inclusive to all. This can only happen when the specific connectivity, service and digital skills needs of refugees and the communities that host them are addressed. People and their skills are at the core of what we call meaningful connectivity.
Bringing meaningful connectivity is made possible through enabling policies and frameworks where access is available, affordable devices and access are ensured, and digital capacities nurtured so that that the technologies and platforms can be used to their full.
Meaningful connectivity is people-centric. It brings change. It embraces diversity. To enable connectivity for all, we need accelerated investment in sustainable digital infrastructure by governments, industry and other partners.
It is only through meaningful connectivity that we will achieve digital transformation so that every person, every community and every society can be positively transformed through the powerful use of today’s technologies.
During the Global Refugee Forum
held from 16-18 December 2019, UNHCR, alongside co-sponsoring organisations the GSMA and the ITU, held a session which explored the challenges around delivering connectivity for refugees and their hosting populations, and the opportunities provided through the approaches outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees.
by Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau