June 2021 - Many of us have heard the words of Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus: “Change is the only constant in life.” The pandemic has changed lives, and the whole world has pivoted to new ways of working to adapt and deal with this challenge. Just as people’s work lives and livelihoods have been affected, so have their access to learning opportunities.

There is a surge in online, work-from-home, digital-based job openings. The challenge for job seekers is to get the right skillset and training to get these jobs. In many developing countries where many do not have steady access to the digital infrastructure, the rise in demand for online work has fueled the digital divide between the haves and the have nots.

Here is how UNITAR Division for Prosperity is bridging this gap:

Digital Finance Initiative

Ratna Sahay, Deputy Director of Monetary and Capital Markets Department at the International Monetary Fund

Digital Finance Initiative was launched on 21 April World Creativity and Innovation Day to promote sustainable prosperity. It aims to leverage the digital age by harnessing innovation and scaling financial inclusion to support the achievement of SDGs.

If countries are more inclusive in terms of democratization of financial services, the inequality falls much more,

says Ratna Sahay, Deputy Director of Monetary and Capital Markets Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), at the Initiative’s kickoff virtual conference

She emphasized the importance of financial inclusion by sharing IMF’s findings from cross-country studies that a country with a higher percentage of financial inclusion has higher economic growth and lower inequality.

UNITAR also offers online courses on digital finance.

Leading Inclusive 4IR

Uzra Ahrar Sadiq, Afghanistan

The UNITAR Leading Inclusive 4IR: Empowering Women in Afghanistan for the Future of Work through Digital Reskilling, launched on 31 May, takes a bottom-up approach. Open to all Afghan women, this online course teaches coding skills and trains women in digital literacy, application development, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI), coupled with empowerment training to develop gender leadership. The programme will include an online hackathon to test participant’s skills.

My entrepreneur journey started when I participated in the UNITAR programme; it literally changed the way that I look at the world, I approach any problem in my society, I learn about ventures,

says Uzra Ahrar Sadiq, a doctor from Afghanistan who has participated in a 2020 precursor programme.

We invite the participants to join the learning lounge and keep us updated on their journeys. UNITAR aims to make every individual self-reliant and digitally savvy so they can be financially independent and confident of managing change in their lives and communities.

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