The Digital Empowerment Foundation conducted an event ‘Leave No Voice Behind’ on the 6th of March to get voices of the civil society, experts, digital innovators and community members on one platform in a bid to democratize digital issues.
India level Civil Society Consultation to contribute to the campaign of United Nation’s ‘Global Digital Compact’ with the presence of UN Secretary General’s Office of Envoy on Technology, Dr Amandeep Singh Gill- there will be about 100 civil society organizations and as many community practices from all over India.
On 27 October 2022, the President of the UN General Assembly appointed Rwanda and Sweden as Co-facilitators to lead the intergovernmental process on the Global Digital Compact. The co-facilitators shared the road map for the process on 16 January 2023.
As part of this process, the United Nations is holding consultations with individuals, groups, associations and entities on what they want to see in the Global Digital Compact. Digital Empowerment Foundation hosted one of these consultations on March 6, 2022, from 10 AM to 12 PM, led by Amandeep Singh Gill (UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology), Abhishek Singh(President & CEO NeGD; MD & CEO Digital India Corporation) Laurent Le Danois (Team Leader – Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan), Jayesh Ranjan (Secretary, Information Technology (IT); Government of Telangana) and Osama Manzar, (Founder and Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation).
The aim was to develop a set of inputs in shaping the global digital compact and ensure that it is built on the shared principles of an “open, free and secure digital future for all”. The inputs from the consultations are being integrated into a report and submitted to the UN.
Showcase and Award ceremony of DEF’s digital innovations – mBillionth Award, eNGO Challenge, and Social Media for Empowerment (SM4E) Award- Congregation and Visual Experience of close to 90 best digital innovations would be present from India and other South Asian countries.
Social Media for Empowerment (SM4E) Award: Social media today has become the most promising tool for development and empowerment to promote vision, purpose and activities; spread news; build support; attract volunteers and donors and engage with interested segments of the population. Social Media has become an equalizer, providing an equal platform to all those with an innovative idea or solution. Along with providing everyone a platform to express their ideas, it has also provided citizens with a voice to reach out to those accountable to them. It has reached the interiors of the country and given birth to citizen journalists at the last mile. As with other excluded groups, social media has also given an opportunity to women to voice their opinions and issues.
Over the last three years, the pandemic has proved to be a catalyst to digital innovations and social media has responded the same way. It has played a pivotal role in digitally enabling communities. As we move into the post-COVID world, we continue to see innovations that are transforming the way we look at social media and the digital world.
mBillionth Award – The mobile has democratized information, access, innovation and entitlements across sectors, communities and geographies. The pandemic prompted the need for digital/mobile acceleration for resilience and recovery. The smartphone played the biggest empowerment and development role in this. Now as we transition to the post-COVID world, mobile applications continue to provide transformative content and services to the underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged segments of society.
eNGO Challenge Award – We have always believed that there are many not-for-profit civil society organizations which are working with a developmental agenda to solve local issues of grassroots communities. It is not just about helping marginalized people who need help and support, but they are creating an ecosystem of self-reliance through technology.
Organizations are using the internet as a powerful tool for community mobilization and advocacy. They are not only repositories of local knowledge but also the chief disseminators of the latest information and scientific advances in various fields that impact the lives and livelihoods of people, especially the marginalized and underserved communities. This year we have seen some extraordinary instances of the use of digital tools and ICT in the work of NGOs not only in India but also throughout the other countries of South Asia. This book is a testament to the relevance of civil society organizations in the post-COVID world.
20 Years of Digital Empowerment– Showing 20 years of diversified models of digital developments through rural digital women entrepreneurs, and various other successful models through bringing in at least 100 grassroots digital changemakers including SoochnaPreneurs.