World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends

A new report by the World Bank.

Digital technologies have spread rapidly in much of the world. Digital dividends—that is, the broader development benefits from using these technologies—have lagged behind. In many instances, digital technologies have boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery. Yet their aggregate impact has fallen short and is unevenly distributed. For digital technologies to benefit everyone everywhere requires closing the remaining digital divide, especially in internet access. But greater digital adoption will not be enough. To get the most out of the digital revolution, countries also need to work on the “analog complements”—by strengthening regulations that ensure competition among businesses, by adapting workers’ skills to the demands of the new economy, and by ensuring that institutions are accountable.

Download (pdf): Full Report


Main MessagesEnglish

Part 1: Facts and analysis

Spotlight 1: How the internet promotes development

Chapter 1: Accelerating growth
Sector focus 1: Agriculture
Spotlight 2: Digital finance

Chapter 2: Expanding opportunities
Sector focus 2: Education
Spotlight 3: Social media

Chapter 3: Delivering services
Sector focus 3: e-health
Spotlight 4: Digital identity

Part 2: Policies

Chapter 4: Sectoral policies
Sector focus 4: Smart cities
Spotlight 5: The data revolution

Chapter 5: National priorities
Sector focus 5: Energy

Chapter 6: Global cooperation
Sector focus 6: Environmental management
Spotlight 6: Six digital technologies to watch

World Development Report 2016 is available also as an app – visit

  • Learn about the impact of digital technology on economic development across the world.
  • Read the report in sequence, or browse and search the text, tables, figures, maps, and boxes by topic, economy, keyword, report section and chapter
  • Overview and key messages are available in 7 languages

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