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Towards digital inclusion in rural transformation

The rapid and ongoing digital transformation of government, economic, and social sectors holds immense potential to improve outcomes across the SDGs for smallholder farmers and rural communities more generally. However, it is also widely recognized that digitalization alone does not guarantee inclusion. Rural residents and marginalized groups have the most to gain from digitalization but are also the most at risk of falling further behind due to digital divides. The resulting paradox may leave rural development actors unsure about how to best approach rural digital transformation. This report helps rural development practitioners and decision-makers work through this paradox. It does so by highlighting the factors that lead to digital exclusion, providing evidence regarding how digital divides play out, and providing recommendations on how to improve digital inclusion for rural areas and marginalized groups.