Published on February 25, 2014
SEMINAR ON POVERTY ERADICATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
INTRODUCTION More than one third of the world’s population lacks the resources and information to meet basic human needs such as adequate food, clean drinking water, sanitation, good health provision, shelter and education. Science, technology and innovation can play a crucial role in alleviating poverty. They have led to a wide array of developments, from boosting agricultural productivity to providing the means to generate energy cheaply. Developments in science and technology can make a significant contribution to meeting the key commitments of the eight Millennium Development Goals that United Nations (UN) members and international aid organisations agreed to achieve by 2015.
THE GOLDEN GOALS !!! To eradicate extreme hunger and poverty. To Achieve universal primary education. To promote gender equality and empower women. To reduce child mortality. To improve maternal health. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. To ensure environmental sustainability. To develop a global partnership for development.
Was “HE” BORN for THIS ???
NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO MEET GLOBAL CHALLENGES New advances in scientific fields such as electronics and nanotechnology could provide enabling technologies to alleviate poverty on many fronts. The charity aims to enable the implementation of simple technological ideas that will enhance the lives of these communities in a profound economic and social way. It mentions three areas where research-led technologies can help to reduce poverty: energy generation, agricultural productivity and the provision of clean water.
The “STATUS UPDATE” of the WORLD
Information and Communication Technology for Poverty Reduction It has been estimated that over 700 million of the world's poor live in Asia-Pacific region i.e., those who earn $1 or less a day. The poor experience shortfalls in economic welfare; gaps in access to good quality education and health care; deficiencies in the provision of physical infrastructure; and political barriers that stifle personal initiative and self-development. They are at the cutting edge of all technologies, and are breaking new paths in bioengineering, space exploration, resources mining and operations, global trading and financing, modern living and international travel and leisure.
Continued… It is vital to bring information to the doorsteps of the poor. Today's communications media are excellent vehicles for conveying much-needed information. Hi-tech based internet and digital technologies are not only becoming a lot smarter, they are growing more user-friendly and can help communities in fighting poverty by arming them with information, knowledge and technologies. The poor have inadequate access to information, technology, expertise, and resources. Communication is no longer limited to electric radio or TV, digital technology based telecenters can provide access to the disadvantaged in rural areas to telephone and fax service, email, Internet and electronic networks, database and libraries.
Why is the “DIFFERENCE” ?
COMMUNITY-BASED INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY As a policy, all governments in the Asian region are investing more in infrastructures and communications; as a result, more and more rural areas being electrified. There is no need to wait for roads and civil works; since the dissemination of messages with the developments in satellite technologies, are not dependent on these basic infrastructures. Rather, the availability of satellite facilities, WAP and other mobile connections facilitates the expanded movement of information to the most rural and remote villages. WAP phones (29 million) would outpace PC production.
Continued… With relevant technology, more than 75 per cent of the rural populations can be reached which today are not served efficiently with basic services including education, health, information skills, etc. The major issues to be covered by community media may include the need to manage the environment in a sustainable manner; exploding rate of population and urbanization; food security; human needs with regard to health, education and literacy; peace and democracy; and poverty reduction.
THE STATISTICS !!!
The “SMART VILLAGE” Concept (Rural Information Technology Center) It is to make access to the relevant information and education based on cost efficient high-tech in rural areas is a relevant experiment in this connection. Accessibility to information with quality - this is what media should be doing. Ideally, poor should be an active participant in designing of programs, implementation of programs, and Internet should feed the community with all information. Based on experience, it will be appropriate to combine radio, TV, print and Internet, by special designed radio programs (both national and regional), TV spots which will be repeated several times during prime time and linked to popular programs, and news (to cater for decision makers). Print journalism to be linked to the civic journalism concept by inviting a few selected journalists who are motivated to launch a civic journalism group especially tailor made for poverty reduction and interactive Internet pages dealing with poverty issues on a national and international scale.
The “HEALTH” is the KEY !!!
“EMPLOYEMENT” is the WEAPON
EDUCATION is the Real POWER
MAJOR PROJECTS Earthquake mitigation Many poor people live in earthquake zones. A team at University College London is working on a project to understand the effects of earthquakes on structures and communities, and how to deal with them. A sensor for agriculture Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a sensor to gather data on environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity and light, in agricultural areas. It aims to furnish farmers in developing countries with the information needed to maximise their crop yields. A gallium arsenide water purifier A blue light-emitting diode based on gallium nitride (used in Blu-ray disks) can kill harmful bacteria and mosquito larvae in drinking water. This rather unusual application of the novel semiconductor is being explored by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Overcoming illiteracy A new system of communication called StoryBook aims to help rural Indian communities, where literacy levels are low, to create and share information in audiovisual form.
CONCLUSION It is the key to empowering the poor and disadvantaged to gaining information to shape better decisions to determine their own destiny. This programme is for the empowerment of people, people, people - this is the new economy of our new times. Information technology can also be used to assist in strengthening good governance through increased participation by the poor in key decision-making activities. Finally, IT can help develop a cohesive global world where people with different religions, cultures, languages, and sociocultural histories, can, attitudinal and behavioural changes can live in peace and democracy.
REFERENCES www.unmillenniumproject.org/goals/index.htm http://practicalaction.org/home www.score.uk.com www.kiwanja.net www.frontlinesms.com www.vestergaard-frandsen.com www.google.com www.bing.com www.undp.org
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