The Role of Union Digital Centres in Reducing Social Inequalities in Bangladesh
Union Digital Centers have been inaugurated to accomplish the vision ‘Digital Bangladesh’ to empower rural people by providing digital services. The study attempts to assess the role of union digital centers in reducing social inequality. It also tries to identify the barriers in providing digital services to the local disadvantaged people. In this purpose, the study exerted a cross-sectional mixed-method approach. Data were collected from 399 service receivers of UDC through questionnaire survey, 16 KIIs and 5 FGDs. From principal component and correlation analysis, it is found that the grassroots people’s easy accessibility, citizen’s empowerment by minimizing information gap, quality service delivery at affordable price and time-cost-visit reduction play a significant role in reducing social inequality in rural areas. These factors are positively correlated with the effective service delivery of UDCs to reduce social inequality. Lack of awareness, conflict of job responsibility with UP secretaries and weak network connection are the major barriers in providing effective services of UDCs. Still UDCs bring a new dimension in the public service delivery system which empowers the people and reduce social inequalities in rural areas.
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