HP Inc. to bridge digital divide among underserved communities in India through PATH

To contribute towards digital equity for underserved communities around world, HP Inc. and the Aspen Institute have announced a new initiative to accelerate digital equity. The association is aimed to enable equal access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities and livelihoods within the digital economy. HP seeks to achieve this goal through its PATH (Partnership and Technology for Humanity) Program.

Led by the Aspen Digital program, the ‘Digital Equity Accelerator’ will assist participating non-profits in scaling up their innovative approaches to aid underserved communities affected by the digital divide. HP is backing the Accelerator with innovative technology as well as more than $100,000 (USD) in capacity-building grants for each participating organization, progressing toward its commitment to advance digital equity for 150 million people worldwide by 2030.

Half of the world’s population remains offline, with marginalized and underrepresented communities often bearing the brunt of disconnection. The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected this divide in India and around the world, with more communities falling far behind than ever in terms of access to a quality education, democratised healthcare, and opportunities to thrive in an increasingly digital economy – in other words, fundamental human rights.

“We are looking forward to supporting innovators dedicated to improving digital equity for impacted communities in the US and around the world,” said Vivian Schiller, Executive Director of Aspen Digital.

Target population and areas

This initiative pilots in India, United States, and Morocco and will target populations including women and girls; people with disabilities; aging populations; historically excluded groups, such as communities of color and ethnic minorities; those who are socio-economically marginalized; refugees and internally displaced persons; and the educators and practitioners who support them. The goal is to amplify scalable impact in the areas of healthcare, education, and economic opportunity via a local approach that bolsters community leaders. The effort will leverage a diverse mentor network of practitioners who possess a range of technical and sectoral expertise as well as lived experience.

Ketan Patel, MD, HP India Market, said, “The importance of digital equity for economic growth, social development and job creation has increased exponentially in India. At HP, we are committed to ensure that every Indian has an equitable and inclusive access to skills, knowledge and economic opportunities in the digital economy. Our partnership with Aspen Digital is a step towards this effort as we double down on our efforts to bridge the digital equity gap in communities that need it most.”

The intention is to expand in subsequent years to additional countries, building on lessons learned from the first cohort. Applications are open now through March 21, 2022. To learn more about the criteria and process, visit AspenDigitalEquity.org.

“Digital equity is the path for everyone, everywhere to have equal access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity,” said Michele Malejki, Global Head of Social Impact at HP Inc. “Our partnership with Aspen Digital will bring impact and accountability to advancing the benefits of digital equity in people’s lives.”

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