Under the right conditions, digital technologies can contribute to achieving the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 by fostering economic growth, improving governance, and delivering better outcomes in education and health.
For an elderly man in West Africa, it is the comfort of hearing his wife’s voice on his long journey to receive cancer treatment. For villagers in Peru, it is an emergency lifeline following a devastating earthquake.
Learning financial skills through involvement in an urban farming cooperative has improved the lives of women in Amman, Jordan. The article Developing Value Chains in Amman, Jordan describes how the cooperative has led to women gaining valuable skills through increased participation in business and farming activities.
Despite reforms, labour markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been unable to absorb the growing number of job seekers. Women and educated youth are particularly vulnerable to high unemployment. However, data on entrepreneurship and the private enterprise sector in the region have been virtually non-existent.
Asian researchers have developed new environmental and community approaches to reduce the number of mosquitoes carrying dengue, the fastest-growing mosquito-borne viral disease. Dengue is a significant economic and social burden in many countries worldwide.
Researchers compared water quality available in two informal settlements in Lebanon and Jordan. Tests were conducted to compare water supplied by the municipality and bottled water. The results: tests showed that their quality is similar, although the brand of the bottled water and how it is stored affected its quality.
An IDRC-funded project in Asia found that distance education can be as effective as traditional face-to-face education in delivering quality teaching and a good learning experience. This finding is particularly significant for remote and resource-poor regions in countries such as Mongolia and Cambodia. The project underscored the importance of choosing appropriate technologies and mediums of distance education based on learner needs, capacities, and the socio-economic context.
Health systems in countries across Asia struggle to provide access to health services, especially to vulnerable populations. Information and communication technologies like mobile phones are being used to address health challenges. This networked approach to health, or eHealth, can increase access to services and information. But can it fill critical gaps in health service provision?
Despite strong economic growth, the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate in the ASEAN region — more than 7%. Particularly hard hit are youth, who account for more than half of the close to 3 million unemployed.