Document Type


Source of Publication

Sustainable Social Development

Publication Date



Even before the COVID-19 global pandemic, the world saw the adoption and proliferation of numerous digital tools and technologies, or a global digital transformation. This paved the way for digital inclusion, particularly through e-commerce and shared services platforms which helped to reduce barriers to entry and created abundant socio-economic opportunities across income groups. As a result, digital literacy becomes a vital aspect of modern life due to the rapid global shift toward this digital transformation. Numerous scholars have investigated the benefits of digital literacies since 1995. The primary objective of this paper is to investigate good practices and lessons learned on how digital literacy may serve as a policy instrument for social innovation and socio-economic transformations. The empirical approach is interpretive, through an understanding of digital literacy categorized into three primary pillars: (i) the evolution and foundational concepts of digital literacy, (ii) frameworks and measures of digital literacy, and (iii) the capacity and skills associated with digital literacy. The paper also examines how digital literacy capacity and skills shape social innovation initiatives in Singapore and the UAE, impacting the socio-economic transformation of individuals, families, and communities. Our interpretive approach from field observations and policy implementation, offers a multi-dimensional perspective on digital literacy research, and its socio-economic impact on people and communities. These insights can assist researchers new to this field to gain a more thorough understanding of digital literacy’s broad ecosystem and its extensive impact on communities and nations as a key driver of socio-economic change.








Computer Sciences


digital literacy, social inclusion, social innovation, socio-economic transformation, Singapore, United Arab Emirates

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series