Gender Learning 2021 - Women as Change Agents in the Digital Economy

"Women need digital skills for accessing e-services, supporting their children’s remote education, and participating in the gig economy"

In this Bite+, you will understand the potential roles of women in digital transformation, identify new ways to include women in digital projects as both implementers and beneficiaries, and learn about how digital skills tailored for wo... view more


Opening Remarks by Kimberly Johns - Global Lead, GovTech, Governance GP, The World Bank - There remains a deep gender divide in terms of access to connectivity, devices, and skills but we also see pockets of excellence and innovation. Recent research suggests women's participation in computing and ICT is rising around the world. 


Changing Roles of Women in Adopting Digital Technology and Digital Skills in Africa and MENA - In designing and implementing GovTech solutions, governments need to consider the specific needs and priorities of women - who face particular social, cultural, and historical disadvantages. 


Increase of Women's participation in Online Learning and the Platform Economy - Edraak, an org. that offers free Arabic Massive Open Online Courses [MOOCs] observes that women are 50% more likely to complete courses than any other average learner on the platform. Another study highlights that women who face transport gaps elsewhere increase their mobility after using ride-hailing apps in their regions.


Q & A - What are the core design principles coming out of the ICT and Gender toolkit? What are the norms and trends seen in the uptake of open learning courses (MOOCs) among women on digital learning platforms? 


Q & A - What are lessons from other digital platforms or partnerships that might inform the design of localized and contextualized learning for training and skilling programs across various regions?


Q & A - What are the challenges and gender gaps accounted for while designing GovTech programs? How are we changing approaches while designing policies in areas with a lack of access/connectivity or in regions affected by conflict or among indigenous populations?

About the Presenters

Kimberly Johns

Global Lead - GovTech, Governance Global Practice, The World Bank

Kimberly Johns is the Global Lead for GovTech in the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice and Co-Task Team Leader of the World Bank Group’s GovTech Global Partnership. Her work focuses on the whole of government digital transformation, digital governance, service delivery, and citizen engagement. She has over 15 years of experience working on topics of technology and solutions development, institutional and policy reform. Since joining the World Bank Group in 2007, she has led investment projects focusing on e-government and service delivery in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and has contributed to a number of reports targeting governance issues including administrative burden, accountability, and corruption. Before coming to the World Bank Group, Kimberly worked in the private sector as an ICT programmer and database administrator developing online applications in Chicago, Illinois. Kimberly holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration (specializing in Science, Technology and Information Policy and Research Methods) from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Science in Public Service Management from DePaul University. She has published on topics of digital citizenship and has lectured at the graduate level on topics of policy design and analysis, policy implementation, and research methods for public service.

Samia Melhem

Global Lead, Digital Development, The World Bank

Samia Melhem is the Global Lead on Digital Capabilities at the World Bank Group. Her responsibilities include investment operations in digital platforms and services as well as thought leadership on digital development. She currently leads several digital government operations, leveraging disruptive technologies to improve the delivery of public services in education, health, and social protection. She is also currently leading research on digital resilience and digital responses to COVID-19 for public service delivery. During her career at the WBG, Samia worked in several regions, with a focus on East and Central Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa. She led the production of knowledge toolkits on Telecoms Policy and Regulation, Digital government, electronic procurement, cloud computing, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Open data, Private-Public Partnerships, and gender inclusion in collaboration with a range of partners such as UN, ITU, OECD, WEF, and Academia. She holds degrees in Electrical Engineering (BS), Computer Sciences (MS), and Finance (MBA).

Love Ghunney

Gender Lead, Governance and Public Sector Specialist, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

Love is the Gender Lead and a Governance and Public Sector Specialist with the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice. She is also a core member of the GovTech team where she works on utilizing GovTech solutions to address public sector and service delivery problems. Her work spans Africa, Asia, and Europe and focuses on ways to use technology and analog approaches to increase public sector efficiency. In her role as Gender Lead, she shares good practices and provides upstream support to teams to ensure that projects adequately and appropriately address gender gaps. Prior to joining the Bank, Love worked for Dalberg Global Development Advisors and the Manhattan Strategy Group as a Management Consultant where she drove the delivery of innovative, research-based, and results-oriented solutions for various development projects. She also worked for the Open Society Foundations as a Fiscal Governance Specialist and was a United Nations Graduate Fellow at the African Center for Economic Transformation. Love holds an MA in International Economic Relations and Economic Development from the School of International Service at American University, and a BA in Political Science and Business Institutions from Northwestern University.

Shireen Yacoub


Shireen Yacoub is CEO of Launched in 2014 by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, Edraak offers free Arabic Massive Open Online Courses [MOOCs] to Arabic-speaking learners across the World. Growing at 1,200 learners a day, Edraak has already reached 1.2 million learners. Edraak currently offers 65+ MOOCs and has issued 148K+ certificates.

Alexa Roscoe

Disruptive Technology Lead, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Alexa serves as Disruptive Technology Lead at the International Finance Corporation, where she leads a team advising the private sector on how disruptive technologies can open new opportunities in emerging markets. Recent initiatives include #Digital2Equal, which brings together 18 leading technology companies operating across the online marketplace, and “Driving Toward Equality”, which combined company data from Uber with surveys of over 11,000 drivers and riders to provide the first global insights into how women participate in the sharing economy. Alexa writes frequently on innovation and emerging markets and is a contributor to sites like The Guardian, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The Council for Foreign Relations. She holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MBA from the University of Oxford.

Nicole Goldin

Education Global Practice and MENA Team, The World Bank

Nicole Goldin is a consultant with the World Bank, currently working with the Education Global Practice and MENA team. She was previously consulting Lead Economist and Policy Advisor to the World Bank’s Solutions for Youth Employment Coalition (S4YE) where she was the lead author of Toward Employment Solutions for Youth on the Move (2017), and Toward Solutions for Youth Employment: A 2015 Baseline Report; as well as the principal architect of the S4YE Impact Portfolio. She is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council and adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs. She was previously Interim Director of Economic Participation at FHI360, founding Director of the CSIS Youth Prosperity and Security Initiative where she created the Global Youth Wellbeing Index (2014), and Senior Advisor at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Goldin holds a Ph.D. in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, UK.