Document Type : Review Articles
Tarbiat Modarres University, Iran.
Tarbiat Modarres University, Iran
Purpose- Nowadays, providing education in information technology and communication to the rural workforce is crucial for improving social capital and promoting sustainable development. However, inadequate policies have created a digital divide between rural and urban areas. Upgrading digital literacy is now a key goal for policymakers and planners. This research aims to analyze the digital literacy policy system in rural areas in Iran.
Design/methodology/approach- The research involves an analytical method, where existing documents are reviewed. Essential information was gathered by analyzing various digital documents, including the Cyberspace Strategic Document, Digital Transformation Strategic Document, Communications and Information Technology Strategic Document in the Sixth Development Plan, Digital Transformation Roadmap of Iran, and the Performance Report of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
Findings- After examining the five strategic digital literacy programs of the country, it was found that the Cyberspace Strategic Document (2018-2025) did not sufficiently address rural digital skills, particularly in the agriculture sector, despite considering actions in the field of industry, business, services, human resources, culture, and lifestyle. However, other documents, such as the Digital Transformation Strategic Document, the Communications and Information Technology Strategic Document in the Sixth Development Plan, and the Performance Report of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (2019), emphasized various digital literacy components, including raising awareness of innovative methods for crop production, dealing with natural disasters affecting crops, employment based on capabilities, better access to electronic markets, facilitating the transfer of scientific findings to farmers, access to new electronic services (postal, educational, agricultural, banking, health), and empowering the rural workforce. However, some digital literacy components, such as facilitating crop cultivation planning for the next year, establishing major product purchase centers, and predicting weather changes, have yet to be fully considered in the country's digital programs.
Practical solutions- In order to fill the existing digital divide between rural and urban areas, experts have proposed various practical solutions, including providing various digital infrastructures and tools in rural areas, increasing the population coverage of broadband internet services in rural areas, equipping agricultural service centers with digital technology facilities to transfer information to rural farmers, upgrading the literacy level of rural workers, especially rural farmers.
Originality and value- Most of the studies on rural digital literacy have focused on evaluating resilience through digital literacy, and the analysis of the country's policy on rural digital literacy has received less attention from researchers. This research is innovative in this regard.