Science and Technology Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid (Southeast Asia)

Approximately four billion of the world's people subsist at the base of the social and economic pyramid, while a mere 75-100 million make up the top. Despite the many challenges facing those at the base, it is the affluent minority at the top who have benefited most from technological innovation. Indeed, some technological advances appear to have exacerbated the gap between them. The question is, how can science and technology (S&T) innovation be brought to bear on the needs of the poor?

This project will endeavor to address the development needs of the poor and excluded in six Southeast Asian countries by fostering affordable solutions to their needs and facilitating their participation in the wider economic system. The project will involve constructing an open platform to link researchers with each other; building capacity for research on pro-poor S&T innovations; and drawing the attention of policymakers to the needs of the poor and the role S&T can play in addressing them.

The project will initially focus on specific sectors such as agriculture and health, with information and communications technology (ICT) as a cross-cutting theme. It will include identifying and documenting successful stories of pro-poor innovations, with a view to replicating them in other countries of the region.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, December 7, 2007

End Date

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


36 months

IDRC Officer

Osir, Ellie Onyango

Total funding

CA$ 1,000,000


Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia

Project Leader

Antonio La Vina


Ateneo de Manila University (Quezon City), Inc.

Institution Country


Institution Website