Democratizing Digital Landscape Assessment

Date published: Sept. 27, 2022

Thematic Area



Secure, open, and inclusive digital ecosystems enable sustainable development. There has been a rapid and widespread uptake of digital tools by individuals, institutions, and governments over the past two decades, in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and globally. The immense potential of digital development to accelerate development objectives is clear and is an emerging priority for USAID. At the same time, digital ecosystems are associated with an increase in the use of the five tactics of digital repression: censorship, mass surveillance, digitally-enabled targeted persecution, disinformation, and internet shutdowns. While these tactics can be used by foreign and non-state actors, they are also used by governments to repress their own people. How can USAID mitigate non-democratic uses of technology? The Democratizing Digital Landscape Assessment, commissioned by the Conflict, Peace Building and Governance division in the Africa Bureau (AFR/SD/CPG), presents findings to better understand the links between digital development and digital repression in SSA, and potential strategies to counter its rise.

You can access a summary report of the landscape assessment here: Investing in the Digital Ecosystem.

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