A request on the above was channelled to me via BERA’s Private Sector group. Six questions were forwarded to UNDP and the last one was related to technology (“How is technology helping UNDP’s mission?”). As a side note, I find the assumption that technology==ICTs puzzling – and misinformed too. Technology is much much bigger and complex than ICTs. Anyways, I submitted three short bullet points to BERA. Here they are.
1. UNDP has been harnessing the Internet and new technologies to foster human development since the early 1990s. Building on the outcomes of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, we launched a global initiative to bring access to developing countries to foster information sharing and dialogue between governments and non-state actors. We supported over 50 countries, trained over 100k people and promoted the development and use of sustainable development content to stakeholders in local languages (see https://www.undpegov.org/SDNP)
2. We have also been using the latest technologies such as mobile and crowdsourcing to foster the participation of citizens and stakeholders in decision-making process. At the global level, we are crowdsourcing the post2015 development agenda by involving people in the process. With this in mind, and working in collaboration with over 20 UN agencies, we launched last year the MyWorld initiative which presents to people 16 development options on which they can cast their votes and have their voices heard. We now have close to 1 million responses and are in the process of bringing these inputs to the overall UN process which will lead to the new development agenda.
3. At the national level, we are also using the new technologies to get youth involved in local policy making in Madagascar and Ukraine, to prevent and manage conflict in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Liberia, to monitor electoral process in Mexico and Kenya, to deliver public services to the most vulnerable population in Bangladesh and Costa Rica. On the other hand, we are well aware of the limitations in terms of both access and capacity in developing countries to use the new technologies. In this context we wee mobile technologies, local social innovation and South-South collaboration as critical pillars to move the development agenda forward using the latest technologies.