Digital services addressing societal issues

 

Aalto University launched a new collaborative project “Digital Infrastructure Platform for Communities in Emerging Markets” (DIPCEM) in January 2016.

The goal of this ongoing planning stage is the creation and gathering of a core group of academic, industrial, and government actors that are capable of forming a network for future research and development projects around digital service development for people in informal communities.

The role of digital services has increased dramatically in society during the last decade. Digital services that were “emerging” a decade ago are now immersing into everyday plans, realizations and practices. Digitalisation is a key development area emphasizing the central and transformational role that digital services have aiming at “user-based, one-stop-shop digital public services that improve productivity and efficiency”. In addition to the industrialised world, countries with emerging markets are emphasizing the importance of information and knowledge capacity.

In the efforts towards improving living conditions in low-resource communities with constrained capabilities and capacity, digital services provide an interesting and underutilised resource. In addition to providing means for commerce, business and industry, digital services provide novel and innovative ways in addressing many social and societal issues. Digital services and platforms provide an emerging way to foster various types of activities in communities including the informal ones.

The current planning phase is especially focusing on joint activities with Namibian collaborators. This preparatory project is funded by “BEAM – Business with Impact” program of Tekes and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

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This post was written by Teija Lehtonen

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