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Teach a person how to surf: Cyber security as development assistance


Much policy literature on digitalization and development has focused on the importance of connecting developing countries to digital networks, and how such technology can expand access to information for billions of people in developing countries, stimulating economic activity, collaboration and organizations. Good connection to digital networks may have a fundamental impact on societies, changing not only how individuals and businesses navigate, operate and seek opportunities, but also as regards relations between government and the citizenry. Instead of adding to the substantial literature on the potential dividends, this report examines a less studied issue: the new societal vulnerabilities emerging from digitalization in developing countries.

While there is wide agreement about the need to bridge the gap between the connected and the disconnected, the pitfalls are many, especially concerning cyber security, a topic often neglected, also in the recent World Bank report Digital Dividends (2016).

The present report is an attempt at redressing this imbalance.