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Digital transformation and localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Elsevier Enhanced Reader

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Journal Article

ElMassah, Suzanna, and Mahmoud Mohieldin. 2019. “Digital Transformation and Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Elsevier Enhanced Reader.” Ecological Economics 169.

This paper examines how digital transformation can impact the localization and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We collect data on the progress made towards SDGs, existing e-governance and big data initiatives, as well as the state of localization in seven countries from different parts of the world. We find that localization allows governments to effectively tailor sustainable development strategies at the local level, which can be boosted with digital transformation. Localization requires local governments’ effective planning by ensuring that budgetary allocations reflect the priorities of local communities. Our main recommendations are that adequate data are necessary to identify and follow-up with decision makers, which requires a review of institutional competence in dealing with information and data and the use of digital transformation for this purpose. Appropriate funding for development programs and projects and effective application at the local level are also important. This requires policy makers to direct and encourage investments in the ‘The Digital Network Architecture’ (DNA) infrastructure and human capital. A key limitation lies in its sample of countries used with their own cultural and population features. However, our findings provide a good basis to analyse further case studies with more heterogeneous compositions as well as other practices of digital transformation.

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