The Divide: How broadband barriers are impacting civil society orgs2/21/2023
This episode features Christopher Worman, co-founder of the digital equity nonprofit fund Connect Humanity; as well as Catalina Escobar, co-founder of Makaia, a nonprofit based in Colombia that helps provide digital skills and other resources for social development.
According to a recent digital inequity report from Connect Humanity, 95% of civil service organizations – like Makaia – said the Internet is vital to their ability to do their work. However, three in four also said that various digital inequities limit their ability to serve their communities.
We get into some of the details of that report, including how the digital divide is hurting both civil society organizations and the communities they serve, how organizations like Makaia are overcoming some of those barriers, and the solutions needed to address this on a global scale.
Here are just a few topics we discussed:
- About Connect Humanity's report and why they surveyed civil society orgs (2:30)
- Main digital barriers faced by civil society orgs and their constituents (4:30)
- Background on Makaia's digital equity work in Latin America (8:05)
- How underinvestment and unstable broadband access impede Makaia's work (10:36)
- How Makaia overcomes digital barriers, and what other solutions are needed (14:00)
- Why we need new broadband business models (18:02)
- Why philanthropy "needs to get off the bench" when it comes to digital equity (20:15)
For an unedited transcript of this conversation, click the caption button in the video toolbar.
Related stories and links:
- State of Digital Inequity: Civil Society Perspectives on Barriers to Progress in our Digitizing World | Connect Humanity
- Research Brief: Funding to bridge the digital divide | Connect Humanity
- The Divide: How Wave 7 is connecting Enfield, North Carolina, with community broadband | Light Reading
- 'Greatest challenge' to closing digital divide is uncertainty about ACP, advocates warn | Light Reading
— Nicole Ferraro, editor, Light Reading, and host of "The Divide" podcast.