Giga

Launched in 2019, Giga sets the goal of providing connectivity to every school in the world.

BACKGROUND

Some 3.6 billion people in the world do not have access to the Internet. This lack of connectivity means exclusion, marked by the lack of access to the wealth of information available online, fewer resources to learn and to grow, and limited opportunities for the most vulnerable children and youth to fulfill their potential. Closing the digital divide requires global cooperation, leadership, and innovation in finance and technology

Giga will bring the power of meaningful connectivity to fast track young people’s access to educational resources and opportunities.

Giga will ensure every child is equipped with the digital public goods they need, and empowered to shape the future they want. 

Giga also serves as a platform to create the infrastructure necessary to provide digital connectivity to an entire country, for every community, and for every citizen. It is about using schools to identify demand for connectivity, as well as using schools as an analogy for learning and connecting where the community can come together and support its next generation in a world where we are all increasingly digital, where the skills that are required are not formal ones, necessarily, and where learning happens continuously.

Children use their tablet and work with each other at the UNICEF supported Debate e-Learning Centre in a village on the outskirts of Kassala, the capital of the state of Kassala in Eastern Sudan.

ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of nearly 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. For more information, visit www.itu.int.

Through ITU’s commitment to connecting the world, ITU brings to Giga a wealth of experience in ICT data and building safe and secure connectivity for all, and achieving a vision of an information society where technologies enable and accelerate social, economic, and environmentally sustainable development.

ITU is able to further contribute through its research, ICT statistics, as well as its advocacy work promoting effective, safe and trusted policy, legal and regulatory environments which foster the development of telecommunication and ICT networks, and build trust and confidence in the use of ICTs.

UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. 

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

UNICEF’s history of innovating for more than 70 years has enabled incredible advances for children around the world. We are a trusted partner and recognized brand in innovation, allowing us to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to partnerships. Working across industries, countries, and cultures has enabled us to create new partnership structures, by collaborating with and across academia, the private sector, international agencies, UN entities, and startups. UNICEF’s convening power plays a key role in narrowing the gap between technologies, practices and services and the people we need to reach.

Through UNICEF’s Project Connect — a mapping and connectivity monitoring platform — UNICEF is able to provide a better understanding of where connectivity needs are in real time. So far, 800,000 schools in 15 countries have already been mapped, and counting: with more connectivity data, we can identify gaps in connectivity, aggregate demand, and collaborate on financing models necessary to connect disconnected schools to the internet.