Technology and innovation are key for Asia’s development
The challenges of development are complex, inter-connected, fast changing and unprecedented. The unique challenges affect countries and populations across the globe and it is increasingly important for development organisations to respond in flexible and proactive ways.
The UNDP encourages a shift away from business as usual and are looking at new ways of solving problems.
The Sustainable Development Goals highlight the importance of innovation. Goal 9 aims to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”
In order to meet the 2030 Agenda the methods used to achieve the goals require a new, disruptive approach that can be seen in technological advancements and scientific breakthroughs.
Science, technology and innovation can increase efficiency, effectiveness and impact of development initiatives in order to achieve the 2030 agenda.
In Asia there is ample opportunity for technology and innovation to improve development and fast-track the Sustainable Development Goals. Asia is globally recognised as a region that is home to rapid technological advancements and dynamic innovations.
Asia represents half of the World’s population and is the fastest growing region in the world with a high level of interconnectivity.
Technological developments have the capacity to improve Asia’s disaster risk reduction capacity.
Organisations, such as the UNDP, alongside development banks, donors, NGO’s and private sector companies have been driving for innovation in Asia’s development.
Technology and innovation could play a key role in helping local governments of Asia ensure better service delivery, even in remote regions.
Innovations such as e-education, tele-medicine and internet have made it possible to reach remote areas with solutions.
For example, mobile phones have been used to improve healthcare for isolated Vietnamese communities.
And, solar panels are bringing 40,000 litres of water a day to families in Nepal.
In Nepal, the UNDP is developing projects that use technology to tackle issues of gender empowerment, gender-based violence, disaster risk reduction, green energy, youth energy and post-disaster recovery.
For the UNDP, it is key to invest in solutions and areas where there is potential for scalability, efficiency, transparency, smart use of technology and youth engagement.
Showing leaders and development actors in Asia that technology can help achieve the development goals and visions they have is critical.
Join us at the 4th Annual AIDF Summit to discuss the role of technology and innovation in disaster resilience, response and development in Asia.
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Photo credit: The Asia Foundation