Accepted Paper:

Digital development and education systems in the Global South: towards a digitally driven education?  
Jaime Echavarri (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona/Sheffield Institute for International Development)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the changes that development policies in education face vis-a-vis industry 4.0 policies fostered by governments in the Global South. It aims to uncover the digital development opportunities these policies promote, and how these support sustainable mechanisms of inclusion.

Paper long abstract:

Globally, education policy has devoted considerable attention to the development digital competencies and skills within students. The focus on creating new skills for digital disruption and adaptation to technological changes, is vehemently pushed across education systems by international development agencies and global consulting firms amongst other actors.

Simultaneously, global initiatives have mimicked Germany's "Industrie 4.0" to address the challenges of a fourth industrial revolution. Within these initiatives, higher education institutions are partnering with economic agents to set up dual education systems, where education does not only take place inside the classroom but fundamentally at the manufacturing facility and where digital skills are an essential part of the learning process.

In the State of México (Mexico), the local government implemented "Education-Productive nodes", a similar initiative to cope with the digital catch-up and take part in the dynamics of digital development. Using evidence from this initiative, this paper seeks explore the different configurations that development policies in education have acquired as a consequence of the digital transformation. In doing so it will seek to uncover what kind of digital development opportunities are these initiatives opening up for deprived populations in the Global South and how are these initiatives contributing to promote sustainable mechanisms of inclusion. By exploring the implications of integrating education with industry vis-à-vis the digital transformation this research seeks to contribute with a deeper understanding about how digital development challenges are addressed in the Global South.

Panel J1
Digital development