How Tech. Helping us to Fast Track the SDGs?

To make sure we truly are not leaving anyone behind let’s understand this, how truly does technology connects with the SDGs?

Image: Techbooky
How is it possible to evaluate these technological impacts across board, bearing in mind our different technology finesse and government backings both in developed and developing countries?
Geospatial technology is important for measuring achievement in the #SDGs, which is why the @UN is creating SDG data hubs at country level to monitor progress.@DioFavatas @dez_blanchfield @evankirstel @SDGActors @SDGoals @GlobalGoalsUN @Tech4SDGs @TeachSDGs @IDGTechTalk @akwyz pic.twitter.com/1W4dLTFSz8
— Adam Rogers 🌎🌍🌏 (@AdamRogers2030) August 18, 2018

With the access to mobile devices by millions of Nigerians, we can measure the impact with the following tool. Although, it comes with it’s own challenges as data collection is a very big challenge in the country.

Tweet #Tech4SDG

  • Free SMS social monitoring tool:
We can measure the impact by using the free SMS social monitoring tool for community participation, just like U-Report NIGERIA. Where people would be asked questions and gather their responses to formulate a result of the impact of technology in achieving the global goals.

SMS polls and alerts are sent out to U-reporters and real-time response information is collected. Results and ideas are shared back with the community. Issues polled include among others health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, disease outbreaks; social welfare sectors. Data received can be disaggregated by age, gender, States, LGAs, Wards and settlements in real time.¹

Indeed, Science, Technology and Innovation, together with Financing for Development, were identified by the UN as one of the two main “means of implementation” to achieve the SDGs by 2030.²

#Innovating for the #SDGs. Here is my #Solar Heat Exchanger working with a parabolic dish. Oil is heated and it becomes the #energy source for my Solar Food Preservation Facility. #Farmers now have a tool that helps them preserve nutritious #food long-term. #malnutrition pic.twitter.com/bROVa2zue7

— Kelly Fetters (@kellyfetters) August 19, 2018

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that the spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge.³

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ICT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Our targets should be the use of ICT for sustainable development in education (Goal 4), gender equality (Goal 5), infrastructure (Goal 9 – universal and affordable access to the internet) and Goal 17 – Partnerships and means of implementation.

These are awesome targets, but I am sure that  someone in the rural area doesn’t know how to achieve it. How do we as goalkeepers make the Global Goals become feasible for them too?
  • ICT in Health Care
Image: IBT Group

Better use of ICT means better data and systems that improve the quality of healthcare while reducing the costs

For Goal 3 (Good Health and Well being), MasterStroke is developing an application that can be use to connect people at high risk of stroke with medical professionals irrespective of their location. The app helps to get access to health consultants.

The app is still in the test phase. MasterStroke is discussing with the Medical Team before the app will be launched on Google Playstore. MasterStroke will also be having partnership with Federal Medical Hospitals across the 6 Geopolitical zones in Nigeria. The basis is to develop a sustainable App that provides solutions to any of the SDGs.

  • Digital Payments and SDGs

GSMA considers mobile payments relevant to Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 1, because it helps to eliminate extreme poverty; SDG 5, because financial services empower women economically; and SDG 9, because digital payments and access to credit services lead to new industries.⁴

Image: istock

Cardless ATM access: ‘Keep up or get left behind’

Rather than innovating for innovation’s sake, banks should prioritizes innovation with a purpose and a deliberate focus on bringing value to customers.

Contactless or cardless withdrawal has been available as an emergency measure for a number of years, with customers whose card have lost or stolen and able to get a one-off code from their bank to use an ATM. However, it is only recently that this concept has started to make a real impact in the ATM channel. 6

One key advantage of contactless withdrawal that will be equally appealing to banks and customers is the potential Card trapping and skimming, for example, will no longer pose a risk if there is no need for the customer to physically enter a card into the machine.

Customers who have access to ATMs that enable mobile withdrawal know they don’t have to carry their card with them at all times in order to withdraw cash, or use the many other services available via the ATM channel today. Modern-day consumers expect services to continuously evolve and improve to cater to their needs.

The mobile device is a good technology to ensure we Leave No One Behind as simple platforms such as the SMS can go a long way to make a difference, some of these people can actually read in their local dialet and a representative in the various locality will help as well.

Moreover, ICTs are already empowering billions of individuals around the world – by providing access to educational resources and services such as e-government and social media, among others.

UPGRADING OUR GAME IN ORDER TO MAKE ICTs SUSTAINABLE

Concerns about privacy, ethics, cybersecurity, and respect for data sovereignty require us to assess the rights of individuals along with the benefits of the community.

  • Read and sign the authorization form

It isn’t about the share only, most times it’s about when we are signing up on a new platform. People should be made to read and sign the authorization form before giving out their details for online registration or surveys and understand that the information being provided will be protected. Reassurance and trust is key.7

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Don’t they? But Hey, who has ever sat to read all the long write up? Isn’t there a way to simplify those “I agree, I don’t Agree” papers?

Truely, we need to simplify the process. But the issue with privacy is something to take very serious with the latest trends we have seen with privacy violation. It can only get better as people become more aware and conscious of their data being shared publicly.

  • Use an anonymous browser

Use Hotspot Shield or Tor (The Onion Router) when visiting sites that might yield information that could cause people to draw inaccurate conclusions about you.8

  • Provide Information Purposefully

Don’t provide information to businesses or other organizations that are not necessary for the purposes for which you’re doing business with them. Unless they really need your address and phone number, don’t give it to them.9

Fundamental elements of human rights must be safeguarded to realize the opportunities presented by big DATA. That is to say there’s an element of human rights in all we do and that we cannot record memorable achievements if we don’t also tour the Human Rights Based Approach.

PARTNERSHIP TO HARNESS INNOVATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

In order to eradicate poverty, affordable technological solutions have to be developed and disseminated widely to enable easy access to some amenities.

  • Farmcrowdy

As an example, Farmcrowdy (Nigeria’s digital agriculture platform) is using its platform through technology to achieve goal 1 (No Poverty), goal 2 (Zero Hunger) and goal 17 (Partnership for the Goals) by empowering the local farmers. They are doing that in the spirit of LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND.

 

Farmcrowdy meets up with farmers who don’t have finance to farm in large scale thereby connecting them with investors who have capital to empower the farmers and in return get a certain percentage as return plus their capital. This has helped a lot of families in the rural areas.

Tweet #Tech4SDGs

This process helps to reduce the poverty rate in Nigeria and also enabling more people to have access to food. The platform also engages more people in farming even without going to the farm. But the key thing is empowerment in terms of reducing poverty.
  • Free Basics

Internet.org is a partnership between social networking services company Facebook and six companies (Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera Software, Nokia and Qualcomm) that plans to bring affordable access to selected Internet services to less developed countries by increasing efficiency, and facilitating the development of new business models around the provision of Internet access. The app delivering these services was renamed Free Basics in September 2015. As of November 2016, 40 million people are using internet.org.10

With Free Basics, you can connect to Facebook and other websites for free using a SIM card from a qualifying mobile operator. Stay in touch with friends and family, search for jobs, check out news and sports updates, and get health information – all without data charges.

Tweet #Tech4SDGs

Empowerment is key and that’s why the last goal 17 is such a great idea. Goal 17 talks about Partnerhsips for the Goals.
Joint action by policymakers, multilateral organizations and the ICT sector will be required to connect the billions of currently unconnected individuals and, to deliver a range of life-enhancing and life-changing services needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030.11

Reference

1. U- Report Nigeria. About U-Report. [ONLINE] 

Available at: http://nigeria.ureport.in/about/ 

[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 

 

 
2. World Bank. Leveraging technology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. [ONLINE]
Available at: https://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/leveraging-technology-achieve-sustainable-development-goals
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 

3. Sustainable development knowledge platform. ICTs as a catalyst for sustainable development. [ONLINE] 
Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=20000&nr=579&menu=2993
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 

4. Kingsley Ighobor. Africa’s quest for a cashless economy gains momentum. [ONLINE]
Available at: https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/may-july-2017/africa’s-quest-cashless-economy-gains-momentum
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 

5. Taylor Armerding. The 5 worst big data privacy risks (and how to guard against them)
Available at: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2855641/privacy/the-5-worst-big-data-privacy-risks-and-how-to-guard-against-them.html?upd=1534816915551
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 

6. Atm marketplace. Cardless ATM access: ‘Keep up or get left behind’. [ONLINE] 
Available at: https://www.atmmarketplace.com/articles/cardless-atm-access-keep-up-or-get-left-behind

7-9. Taylor Armerding. The 5 worst big data privacy risks (and how to guard against them)
Available at: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2855641/privacy/the-5-worst-big-data-privacy-risks-and-how-to-guard-against-them.html?upd=1534816915551
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 

10. Wikipedia. Free Basics. [ONLINE] 
Available at: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Basics
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018]

11. Sustainable development knowledge platform. ICTs as a catalyst for sustainable development. [ONLINE] 
Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=20000&nr=579&menu=2993
[Accessed Aug. 19, 2018] 
Courtesy: Ekene Odigwe
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