Going Digital Project

Digital technologies and data are transformational. People, firms and governments live, interact, produce and work differently than in the past, and these changes are accelerating rapidly. An ecosystem of interdependent digital technologies underpins digital transformation; its constant evolution continues to drive economic and societal changes. This digital technology ecosystem both relies on and produces vast amounts of data, which have become an important source of economic and social value.

The OECD Going Digital project aims to help policy makers better understand the digital transformation that is taking place and develop appropriate policies to help shape a positive digital future. It was launched in a multi-stakeholder process in January 2017. The March 2019 Going Digital Summit marked the end of Phase I (2017-2018) with the release of Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives and Measuring the Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for the Future. 

Phase II (2019-2020) addressed new opportunities and challenges through analysis of frontier technologies, notably artificial intelligence and blockchain, with an ongoing focus on jobs, skills and social inclusion, and on productivity, competition and market structures.

The project benefits from the expertise of almost every policy and measurement community at the OECD, the International Transport Forum and the International Energy Agency. Targeted policy advice in particular areas – labour markets, trade, finance, tax, consumer policy, SMEs, agriculture, health, public governance, competition, the environment – is complemented by analysis that brings together all of these distinct policy areas into a coherent whole. The Going Digital Integrated Policy Framework and the OECD Going Digital Toolkit are key products that frame all of the OECD’s work on digital transformation.

Phase III (2021-2022): data governance

Throughout the course of the Going Digital project, data has emerged as a powerful driver in the digital economy. Data is the basis of digital technologies, like artificial intelligence, and is key to enhanced productivity, innovation, and improved decision-making. But measuring the value of data, understanding its impact, and designing better mechanisms for data governance are critical to making the most of the digital transformation, while addressing issues such as data privacy, competition, and intellectual property rights.

As the Going Digital project continues in 2021-22, the work will focus on data governance and its growing impact on all sectors of economy and society.

This project aims to break new ground in our understanding of the digital transformation and its effects on our economies and societies through four clusters of data-related topics:

  • data stewardship, access, sharing and control;
  • cross-border data flows;
  • the use of data by, and impact on, firms and markets;
  • measurement of data.

An important focus of the project will concern the use of data in the health sector in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work will help countries design better, interoperable data governance policies, domestically and across borders, to promote growth and well-being.