Stories or narratives sustain policy frameworks. After all, our brains are story processors, not data or logic processors. Narratives matter because they frame the discussions about the complex issues around us by influencing what we say, what we emphasize, and what we leave unsaid. When powerful enough, a narrative can become “common sense,” guiding policies and feeding policy frameworks Urbi et orbi.
Something like that is happening with policy frameworks regarding the future of work. A powerful narrative is gaining attention in academic and policy circles around the world. According to this narrative, AI-centered technological innovation is inevitable, and exponential. The future is already here. However, a single and homogeneous narrative on the future of work can hardly account for the real challenges and opportunities facing different countries, let alone the design of its optimal policy frameworks.
Take the Global South. To add context and diversity means to engage in a critical appraisal of the global narrative on the future of work based on knowledge and data generated in Global South countries. With that goal in mind, this documents seeks to present alternative narratives for four regions of the Global South: South and South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, and Sub- Saharan Africa.
IDRC has launched FOWIGS—a research program that will help understand how these changes are affecting the lives of the most vulnerable and suggest pathways for an inclusive digital future. The challenges are large and the questions are complex. But we need to face them now more than ever. Stay connected. Learn how.