Inclusive e-Service or Risk of Digital Divide The Case of National ICT Policy 2018 of Bangladesh


Authors : Jahir Emam; Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir

Volume/Issue : Volume 7 - 2022, Issue 9 - September

Google Scholar : https://bit.ly/3IIfn9N

Scribd : https://bit.ly/3BKCjol

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7085926

ICT policy is required to facilitate e-services to the citizens and to guide stakeholders of ICT to minimize the socio-economic barriers in ICT facilities. This study has examined the vision, objectives, strategic themes of the National Information and Communication Policy (NIP) 2018 of Bangladesh to find out whether this policy addresses ‘Digital Divide’ and encouraging digital inclusion of Bangladesh. In last decade, the government of Bangladesh has initiated massive digitization, still the question remains, are the citizens receiving the e-services at doorstep or it is creating digital divide. Bangladesh is an agricultural country and 62% of citizen live in rural areas. Furthermore, for receiving e-services it requires ICT accessibility, engagement, and skill, but most of the citizen do not have those perquisites. That is why, rapid digitization and e-services of the government has created the possibility of digital divide. This study has investigated the e-services accessibility for the citizen as committed in ICT policy 2018. For this study, author followed a qualitative method for primary data collection. Author has examined the NIP 2018 with relevant policy documents and finds the underlying gaps and issues, which have the threats of digital divide. Author has also conducted FGDs and Key Informant Interview (KII) to find out possible policy solution. The author has identified the issues, challenges, and gaps while analyzing the NIP 2018. Despite that, the author has proposed, if the NIP 2018 would implement with priority and dedication, the government of Bangladesh can minimize the threats of digital divide and bring the e-services to the doorstep of the citizen.

Keywords : ICT Policy 2018, Digital Divide, e-Service delivery, e-service accessibility

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