New technologies have the potential to accelerate a country's development, but a global technology gap remains.
Displaying 1-13 of 13 key documents
Source: Asian Institute of Technology Working Group
This document builds on the idea that security constitutes a basic human right, and examines how technological advances can potentially impinge on this right while also addressing an imbalance of global security, technology, and power.
The article insists on the social production of science and technology, and makes the case for creating an alternative technological order that would re-orient the production of science and technology so it is socially driven and engages directly with human vulnerability. The authors argue that this would serve to re-entrench the basic right to security and create new modes of empowerment through the democratisation of technology.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) | June 2012
This paper examines technology transfer and technology accumulation for development since the 1960s, with the aim of generating constructive dialogue on the subject.
The authors ask whether debates over technology transfer cater to developing countries' needs, and review how knowledge of capacity for technological innovation has changed over the past few decades. They also ask how international negotiations over technology transfer can reflect lessons learnt about how countries build technological capabilities in a changing global technology environment. The paper focuses on intellectual property rights (IPRs) — an issue which, they argue, is central to international discourses on technology transfer.
The authors conclude that in order to move forward, technology transfer cannot be discussed in the polarised terms of providing technology transfer in return for sustaining trends in global IPR protection, or by granting IPRs in the hope of technology transfer. To facilitate this discussion, they identify three linkages between technology transfer, IPR and economic development.
Source: Development Policy and Practice, The Open University | December, 2009
This paper discusses the shift in technological innovation from developed to developing nations, and its link to economic growth and poverty reduction. The author writes that until the 1960s, technological innovation activities took place in wealthy environments to meet the needs of rich, industrialised nations. But a rising entrepreneurial spirit, higher incomes and favourable economic conditions in developing nations such as China and India have created a favourable environment for the development and diffusion of appropriate technologies: low cost solutions for the poor. The author suggests that these parts of the world are likely to become the centre of appropriate technology development in the future due to the size of the population in need of innovations, as well as growing technical capabilities. He argues that this geographical shift will move technological progress away from large companies to small local producers.
Source: Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
This paper, published by the UK-based Institute of Development Studies, examines how disaster risks associated with climate change might impact electricity generation and energy planning — which is an emerging research and development agenda. The authors argue that energy researchers and policymakers have overlooked how changing disaster risks could affect electrical power production.
The report assesses the vulnerability of nuclear power as well as several other options for energy generation — including oil, natural gas, hydropower and bioenergy — and identifies the implications for energy policy and planning. It lists recommendations as to how policymakers could take into account the link between disaster risk management and low-carbon development to improve the capacity of developing countries to build resilience. Suggestions include completing environmental impact assessments when siting new power plants, establishing better links between energy, climate, and disaster policymakers, and planning climate change adaption strategies for electricity production.
Source: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
This safety guide, published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is designed to help countries prepare plans to improve their capacity to respond to nuclear or radiological emergencies whether as a result of an accident or malicious use of nuclear material. The guide can also be used to meet IAEA's safety requirements.
It outlines generic and operational criteria, according to specific radiation doses, to help policymakers decide between different courses of action to protect the public, emergency workers and the environment. It includes guidelines for assessing food and water contamination, and subsequent remediation measures, as well as on how to set safety perimeters around an incident depending on initial observations at the scene. The guide also outlines lessons learned from past experiences.
Source: PLoS Medicine | May 2005
This report from PLoS Medicine argues that nanotechnology has a role in the development of low-income countries. The authors survey 85 experts worldwide and rank the top ten nanotech applications most likely to benefit developing nations. They outline how these applications can help meet the Millennium Development Goals. The paper calls for an initiative to identify "grand challenges" in nanotechnology for global health, which since the publication of this paper are now underway.
Source: Journal of Nanotechnology Online | Oct 2005
This follow-up paper, from the Journal of Nanotechnology Online, provides an in-depth look at the way poor countries engage with nanotechnology. It analyses why some developing nations are ahead of others in nanotechnology progress, and the challenges some less-developed countries face in shoring up nanotechnology capacity. It also investigates nanotechnology patent activity and assesses country participation in nanotechnology policy dialogues – for instance, China is a frontrunner in filing nanotech patents yet it is absent from policy discussions.
Source: Science | July 2005
Mohamed Hassan at the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) argues that the nanotechnology boom will not lead to a divide between developed and developing countries due to the transformation of 21st century global science. Hassan says Brazil, China and India are swiftly developing nanotech capabilities. Instead, he warns of a South-South divide as poorer nations struggle to catch up. To avoid this, Hassan recommends that developing nations create networks between universities and research centres to share nanotech expertise.
Source: Nature | May 2010
In this Nature article, three members of the Royal Society call for an advisory group and a network of international laboratories to lay the groundwork for nuclear disarmament and international collaboration. Scientific collaboration has already helped nuclear negotiations, say the authors. But now, the technology needed to support disarmament must be developed.
Source: Cell | January 2009
Writing in Cell, Nina Fedoroff, science and technology advisor to the US Secretary of State, calls on all US scientists and engineers to build partnerships with developing countries and improve the economic and educational opportunities within these nations. Scientists have a pivotal role to play in decreasing the disparities between rich and poor, she says.
Source: ICT Update | June 2008
This feature article, written by members of the UN Operational Satellite Applications (UNOSAT) programme, outlines how satellite technology can improve emergency relief after a natural disaster.
UNOSAT uses satellite data to produce maps and damage reports for nongovernment organisations, intergovernmental agencies and disaster managers in emergency situations. The authors describe how the process works — from receiving a relief agency's phone call to collecting and analysing relevant satellite data.
They argue that satellite data, when combined with ancillary data such as road maps or population distribution, can help aid workers navigate affected areas and provide estimates of the number of people likely to be affected by, for example, floods or landslides.
The authors describe the range of satellite sensors used by UNOSAT, explaining the advantages of different types of data depending on the disaster. For example, radar imagery, which is unaffected by cloud, is particularly useful to monitor flooding, whereas high resolution optical data is better for earthquake damage assessment.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine | May 2009
This paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examines how the Internet can help monitor, prevent and control emerging diseases. The authors argue that the emergence of influenza A(H1N1), or 'swine flu', in April 2009 shows the value web-based information holds for early disease monitoring.
Informal internet channels such as blogs, chat rooms and search engine request analyses can help identify outbreaks more quickly, prevent governments suppressing information and facilitate public health responses. Google and Yahoo data searches can be used to generate epidemic curves that show the number of new infections plotted against time, and are comparable to those derived from traditional influenza surveillance methods.
The Internet also connects experts — through wikis and social networks — to quickly disseminate reports and responses. There is also great potential from public information.
The authors give examples of approaches being taken to monitor infectious diseases, including swine flu, and highlight some of the online resources available, including Google Flu Trends, HealthMap and ProMED.
Source: Nature | October 2008
This collection of features and commentaries, published by Nature, reflects the broad spectrum of activities and opinions of members and associates of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world.
With more than three dozen articles written by prominent scientists working on research or policy issues in the South, the collection examines a range of topics in science-based international development — from the relevance of subjects like mathematics or physics, to the increasing roles of biotechnology and renewable energy.
The achievements made and challenges still facing developing countries in key areas like agriculture, health, climate change and energy are also discussed. And evidence from across the South is presented to show how strengthening science can help achieve economic goals and what more is needed to ensure that knowledge and development are shared by all.