Displaying 1-11 of 11 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: UNESCO International Hydrological Programme | July 2012
This collection of papers was presented at a conference on linkages between climate change, water, conflict and migration, held in September 2011 at The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the discussion focused on: capacity building and resilience in climate hotspots; conflict prevention; and a legal framework to protect environmental migrants.
The publication includes a conference summary and a background document providing an overview of how climate change, water stress and environmental problems are increasingly seen as major threats to human security. Also included are papers that explore connections between these issues from the perspective of vulnerability; put forward a research and capacity-building agenda for climate-induced migrations; and review current literature, evidence and implications for policymaking on the environment, climate change and human displacement.
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: United Nations Environment Management Group | October 2011
This report outlines the first coherent strategy drawn up by the UN to address dryland management, taking into account environmental concerns and the well-being of dryland communities. It examines the relationship between drylands and climate change, food security and livelihoods, and highlights ways in which the UN is working to mainstream drylands into policymaking processes.
Climate change is already having an impact on crop yields and nutrition in areas that rely on rain-fed agriculture, according to the report, and these impacts will intensify by 2020 in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The impacts of climate change may be most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, suggesting that those already vulnerable will be affected the most.
A key message is that the international community has an opportunity to address the underlying causes of dryland degradation. The report concludes that global cooperation must be intensified if the ten-year strategic plan of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification — whose aim is to tackle desertification and degradation — and the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved.
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: 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: PLoS Medicine | September 2007
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) practically define health efforts in the 21st century, but they virtually ignore non-communicable diseases such as mental health, say these authors. This is despite evidence that mental health disorders are among the most important cause of sickness and disability and even premature mortality. The authors argue that tackling mental health problems will be vital to achieving the MDGs, and three in particular — eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health.
Poverty and hunger are well-recognised risk factors for mental health, but mental health also makes it harder for people to escape the hunger trap. Mothers who are depressed during pregnancy and post natally, are more likely to have underweight babies; not only that, the illness means these mothers are more likely to stop breastfeeding and less likely to ensure their children are properly immunised than mothers without depression.
The authors advocate that strengthening basic health-care systems should be holistic. For example, developing countries need more and better-trained health workers but they should not only know how to deliver babies but also how to counsel new mothers. HIV/AIDS programmes, as another example, should ensure that individuals not only have good access to antiretrovirals but also to treatment for depression if they need it.
Source: PLoS Medicine | June 2007
Schizophrenia is relatively rare — affecting 1% of the world's population — but is arguably one of the most severe mental illnesses. Diagnosing and treating it can be hard enough in developed countries; the challenges are magnified in developing nations with inadequate health systems; few trained staff; and pervasive social stigma. So how best to treat it? In this debate, three psychiatrists offer their different viewpoints.
Vikram Patel, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the shortage of mental health specialists means that the most effective way of spreading the expertise around might be for non-specialist health workers or community representatives to be trained to bear the brunt of providing first-line mental health services. Saeed Farooq, at Pakistan's Lady Reading Hospital, argues that the principles of the WHO's DOTS TB programme, in which patients are given an uninterrupted supply of medication taken under close supervision, could be used to treat schizophrenia. The rationale is that missing medication for schizophrenia, which can be common given the cognitive impairment associated with the illness, has serious consequences and can lead to much higher risks of relapse. R. Thara, director of the Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai, India, advocates tackling stigma by offering proper treatment. In India at least, he says, the mystification of mental illness is intensified by a lack of awareness about schizophrenia and also by "magico-religious" beliefs. Effective treatment that shows the symptoms to be an illness rather than a religious curse is the best antidote to stigma, he says.
Source: Biopact | October 2006
In this manifesto, John Mathews, professor of strategic management at Australia's Macquarie University, challenges development organisations to reconsider their position on biofuels. He says countries should follow Brazil, China and India in forging a "new pathway of industrial development", based around biofuels.
Mathews argues that although China and India are seen as big polluters, they, together with Brazil, are actually paving the way for developing nations to invest in renewable energy.
He outlines practical steps for creating renewable energy industries, citing Brazil — the world's leading producer of biofuels — as an example. Mathews sets out 10 arguments for biofuels in the developing world.
Source: ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development)
This report looks at the future consequences of climate change in the greater Himalayan region. Experts predict that global climate change will lead to major shifts in the strength and timing of climate systems affecting the region, and expect this to intensify in mountain areas.
The authors focus on changes in glaciers, permafrost and avalanches, as well as the implications for water supplies, ecosystems and hazards such as glacier lake outbursts and how these threaten regional populations.
The authors emphasise that because the poor and marginalised are likely to suffer the earliest and most, identifying changes in the environment likely to affect them is of utmost importance.
The authors highlight the need to work on policies and strategies — in land use, water management, disaster management, energy consumption and human health — in order to improve the adaptive capacities of communities at risk. They argue that community-led adaptive strategies and capacities, as well as substantial efforts to reverse the human drivers of climate change, are needed.