digital literacy

Sustainable Ageing in a Digital World


An increasing number of concerns have been raised regarding the risks of leaving vulnerable groups behind in a hyper-digitalised world which includes older and marginalised populations. Therefore, digital inclusion needs to be a top priority in terms of public policy making from a human rights and from an economic productivity point of view. The latter is of particular importance for countries that do not yet have an adequate social safety net for their citizens and also for countries faced with the challenge of older persons soon outnumbering the younger population. Responsive policies could empower the older population who are not yet digitally proficient to reap the potential benefits of the digital technology and support their participation in an increasingly digitalized economy and society.

An ageing workforce poses a known dilemma to companies. Older employees who hold more manual and less highly skilled jobs tend to be less familiar with ICT and less equipped to participate in today’s digitalised workplace. Excluding older workers and employees from acquiring digital literacy and minimal competence to work in an ICT dense workplace would reduce retraining costs but might jeopardize productivity and externalise social costs. For example, in service sector where companies’ productivity might actually increase with age due to accumulation of tacit knowledge and abilities to network across age groups with clients. This will take younger employees more time, emotional intelligence and social capital. Hence productivity might be higher for a socially skillful older staff. While many routine works continue to be necessary within an ICT integrated work environment, older workers, arguably with greater patience, are better equipped to carry out the more routine data processing tasks with less errors and need for rework.

Inclusion of older workers in the development of digital competence would also make sense since many of the customer services and other more routine type of work connected to data platform interactions will continue to require a human touch for all age groups. A later life work pattern will become the norm in many of the ageing societies. Hence, acquiring digital literacy would enable older workers to remain active and productive longer. The aim of this panel is to broaden the public’s understanding about the impact of digital technology on ageing in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) which has accelerated the coverage and depth of digitalization in both public and private domains.

The key note speech will be based on the newly published policy brief on “Ageing in the Digital Era” by the UNECE and highlight the barriers to digital technology adoption and the use of digital tools in later life and suggest action areas for policy makers. Panelists will discuss various policy considerations for governments to adopt.

Learn more and register here:


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at 

2021 International Day of Families: “Families and New Technologies”

Please join the International Day of Families online webinar, “Families and New Technologies” on Friday, May 14 from 10 to 11:30 am EDT. This is sponsored by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The focus will be on the megatrends of new technology, analysis of their impacts on family life, and recommendations for responsive family-oriented policies to harness the positive aspects of those trends and counteract their negative facets. Discussion will follow-up on the theme of the 59th session of the Commission for Social Development “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all.”
Watch the event live on Facebook here:


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11):

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.


  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development


Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit

Adverse Childhood Events: Protecting, Preventing, and Healing

The NGO Committee on the Family New York invites you to attend “Adverse Childhood Events: Protecting, Preventing, and Healing” on Thursday, February 25th, 1pm-2pm EST.

Concept note/background info:

Families around the world strive to provide children with a safe and nurturing home environment to empower their children to thrive. However, many families experience unexpected difficulties and trauma that can negatively influence this home environment. Parents, families, and communities can work to prevent, protect, and heal from these adverse events.

Speakers will present insights from their practical experiences working with parents and families to promote a healthy environment for children to thrive.

Prevent and ProtectSilvia Mazzarelli, Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and Arigatou International will look specifically at how parents can keep children safe online and prevent any access to harmful material and persons.

Heal – In the unfortunate event of early childhood trauma, Dr. Amanda Costello from the University of Delaware will discuss the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) home-visiting parenting program that was developed by Dr. Mary Dozier. This evidence-based program helps caregivers to develop strong relationships with their children through positive feedback on parenting strategies. The program is currently offered in 19 US states and 8 countries.

Following this, there will be an opportunity for questions.

Please RSVP by Feb. 24th at 6pm EST to attend at


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit

Human Rights and Mental Health: The New Normal

In honor of Human Rights Day 2020, the NGO Committee on Mental Health invites you to a discussion on some of the contemporary challenges posing as barriers to a world where the mental wellbeing of everyone is protected as a human right.
Prof. Corann Okorodude, Developmental Psychology and Africana Studies at Rowan University | Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues | Psychology Coalition at the UN

Dr. Vivian B. Pender, President-Elect, American Psychiatric Association | Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Med College

Prof. Elaine P. Congress, Associate Dean, Graduate School of Social Service,  Fordham University | International Federation of Social Workers’ NGO Representative to the UN
Please click here to  register for the event and share with your professional networks and social media.
CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit

[UN Observance] International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

The United Nations recognizes the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists every year on November 2.

Help keep the investigations of killed journalists alive and perpetuate their legacy by sharing their articles and their stories. Learn more about the #TruthNeverDies campaign, developed jointly by UNESCO and DDB Paris, here:


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Drugs and Crime, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at or For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit