During WBA’s multi-stakeholder consultation phase, digital companies were identified by key stakeholders as among the most influential to achieve the SDGs. From mobile money applications that give the unbanked access to financial resources to bring themselves out of poverty, to internet and web applications that help people connect and cooperate globally, digital technologies have significant though currently untapped scope to accelerate the SDGs.
To unleash this potential, the barriers excluding billions of people from accessing and productively harnessing digital technology needs to be torn down. Digital technology companies must play a greater role for this to happen. WBA’s corporate benchmarking aims to highlight industries and companies that are currently leading the way in fostering digital inclusion to trigger a race to the top across the digital sector, as well as hold underachieving companies accountable.Read more about the seven systems transformations
The benchmark is free and publicly available, published annually and shared widely with government, investor and civil society stakeholders worldwide, including WBA allies. During its first year, the benchmark assesses 100 of the world’s most influential digital technology companies, such as hardware companies, telecommunication providers, and software and IT services (including online platforms). The benchmark scope will increase to 200 companies by 2023 which includes all digital technology companies within the SDG2000. A full list of the companies benchmarked can be found in our methodology report.
Data collection, verification and analysis
May- November 2020
The Digital Inclusion Benchmark evaluates company performance across four measurement areas:
- Enhancing universal access to digital technologies.
- Improving all levels of digital skills.
- Fostering trustworthy use by mitigating risks and harms.
- Ensuring open, inclusive, and ethical innovation.
These measurement areas are inspired by the SDGs and informed by research, stakeholder engagement and related benchmarks. The measurement areas were introduced in the WBA scoping report for the Digital Inclusion Benchmark. The measurement areas can be envisioned as a set of interrelated actions for achieving digital inclusion. Each faces challenges where stakeholders expect action and where digital companies can have significant impact.Methodology report
One hundred keystone digital companies were benchmarked on 16 indicators across four measurement areas: access, skills, use and innovation.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by all 193 United Nations members in 2015, are the world’s roadmap to a sustainable future. The SDGs informed the construction of the digital inclusion benchmark and all of the indicators map to one or several goals.
Expert Review Committee
The Digital Inclusion Benchmark is developed in close collaboration with an Expert Review Committee (ERC), which members support the core team with their expertise and experience.
Head, Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br)
Executive Director, PUKAR
Director of Policy and Advocacy, GSMA
Senior Adviser to the President, World Bank Group
Senior Statistician, International Telecommunication Union
Managing Director, Access Partnership
Executive Director, Internet Sans Frontieres
Senior Adviser, Analysys Mason
As we build our work, we continue to engage with stakeholders across the globe through targeted communications with key organisations and representatives. We also encourage meaningful and constructive feedback.
Lourdes Montenegro, Lead Digital Sector Transformation at WBA:
The vast majority of the global population rely upon digital companies to connect with their work, families and communities; more than ever, their lives are defined by digital.
Our research discovers a disappointing lack of rigour and engagement with digital inclusion policies throughout the tech industry. We see a huge opportunity for change, but companies must take their responsibility as global citizens seriously.