ESCAP and Asia Foundation Leverage Online Platforms for Sustainable Development
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Asia Foundation launched a joint initiative to use online platforms to promote sustainable development and achieve the SDGs.

The Partnership for Online Platforms & Sustainable Development (POPS) supports the use of digital technologies for diverse aims, including for education, entrepreneurship, and enabling financial inclusion of disadvantaged communities.

30 March 2018: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Asia Foundation launched a joint initiative for the use of online platforms to promote sustainable development and achieve the SDGs. The Partnership for Online Platforms & Sustainable Development (POPS) supports the use of digital technologies for diverse aims, including for education, entrepreneurship, and enabling financial inclusion of disadvantaged communities.

POPs was launched at a side event on 30 March during the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) in Bangkok, Thailand. The event featured panelists including: Mari Pangestu, Indonesia’s former Minister of Trade; Sahib Anandsongvit, CEO of Seekster, a digital platform for linking providers of cleaning and repair services in Thailand with clients; John Carr, Senior Director for Technology Programs at Asia Foundation; and Jonathan Wong, Chief of Technology and Innovation at ESCAP. Speakers addressed topics including Internet access, digital literacy, and the regulatory environment for digital platforms.

Online platforms can be valuable tools for reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving social inclusion.

The Asia Foundation highlighted that, by 2020, more than one billion people in the Asia-Pacific region will use the services of online platforms, and that such platforms can be valuable tools for reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving social inclusion. POPS aims to promote information sharing and collaboration among regional development actors and entrepreneurs in Asia.

Other organizations that are collaborating through POPS are Google, the World Bank, the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre Foundation, Pulse Lab Jakarta, and several Bangkok-based commercial platforms. [ESCAP Announcement] [Panelists at Launch Event] [POPS Press Release] [POPS Website]


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