The Internet and other advances in communication technology have helped make the spreading of globalization even quicker. For developing countries, access to technology can have many benefits —  one such improvement being the boost of a nation’s economy. Other ways that technology is helping economies in developing countries include reducing the costs of production, encouraging the growth of new business and advancing communication.

An issue that developing countries must bypass is prioritizing technology innovation, not just adapting to technology. Another issue is that the distribution of technology needs to be equal across a country; so far the poor have not been able to have the same amount of access to technology. It is important for organizations to monitor technology and to encourage innovations and job creation in order to solve these issues.

One organization that works to do just that is Broadband for Good, a group that gives internet access to rural areas and encourages programs to utilize the technology in creating progress in communities.

When technology is used correctly it can be extremely helpful in furthering the prosperity of economies. One such example of technology creating a positive impact on the economy is in regard to India — the Self-Employed Women’s Association uses SMS to send agricultural workers messages about commodity prices. This information helps farmers determine the best places to sell their produce. Farmers who participated in this program have said that they have been able to sell their products over wider areas, which has increased their incomes.

Another example, also in India, is the Hand in Hand Partnership (HIHP). The HIHP is an organization that provides women with mobile devices so that they can launch their own tech-driven businesses. The HIHP helps train and provide technical support for these women. By encouraging women to innovate ideas instead of just giving them technology, HIHP is helping to better the economy in a sustainable and long-term way.

Other countries successful in creating businesses are Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia. 38 percent of these countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) was generated by micro-entrepreneurs. In a 2011 World Bank report, figures showed that small businesses like these create new jobs and generate new ideas — both of which are great for helping economies.

Deanna Wetmore

Photo: Flickr

Education Develops Economies
It is proven that universal education develops economies. However, donor aid to basic education in developing countries has shockingly dropped by 14 percent. The international community needs to make changes in the way it views education. Here are three reasons why global education needs funds in the developing world:

A robust education system provides immediate job openings.
Countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan are killing two birds with one stone. They have expanded their educational systems to provide universal education to their populations. At the same time, an expanded education system created a need for teachers, school administrators and a host of other job openings. In this way, the opening of schools immediately brings down unemployment rates. While this can sometimes lead to a poorly administered schools system, if administered correctly it quickly employs large amounts of people.

Higher education gives a country a developed and robust economy.
Education develops economies by providing an educated workforce. In many developing countries, the infrastructure to create a developed economy exists, it is just that employers have trouble accessing skilled employees. This phenomenon is called a “skills mismatch,” in which the youth do not have the technical skills necessary to be effective workers. It is impossible for young people to be skilled as long as millions of them do not even have access to primary education. A recent U.N. report stated that 175 million young people across the globe couldn’t even read a single sentence.

Without a quality education, the young workforce leaves the country.
Without a quality education, it is impossible to receive good employment. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are 71 million unemployed youth around the world. This is close to a shocking 13 percent of all youth on the planet. Those that are employed are often forced to take low-paying jobs. The ILO estimates that 156 million youth in developing nations are living on roughly $3 per day. A lack of quality education has caused these conditions. As a result, desperate youth immigrate to other countries seeking better opportunities. This deprives countries of their young workforce. Without a young workforce economies stall and are unable to expand.

The Education Commission estimated that aid for education needs to increase by $1.5 trillion by 2030. Otherwise, developing nations will merely continue to live in an economic rut. Countries with large uneducated youth populations will struggle with malnutrition, joblessness and strife. Universal education develops economies, and donors need to realize this.

Bruce Edwin Ayres Truax

Photo: Flickr

The volatile national security climate resonating throughout the United States is fickle, and at times hostile. Political partisanship clamors and clashes against the tide of uncertainty – an uncertainty that resides deep within the veins of the American people.

In the midst of this madness, where should efforts of national security be focused? Global poverty remains rampant and begs the question: does the cure for our own security begin with aiding in the security of others? According to the Pentagon’s “3Ds” highlighted by the Borgen Project – Defense, Development and Diplomacy – it is in the best interests of U.S. national security to focus energy on combating global poverty.

Vincent Ferraro, professor of international politics at Mount Holyoke College, spoke candidly on this issue in his publication, “Globalizing Weakness: Is Global Poverty a Threat to the Interests of States?”

“While there is no necessary trade-off between economic growth and environmental protection in the long run, a poor state needs significant outside resources to realize both objectives simultaneously,” Ferraro stated. “This situation will only worsen over time, as poorer and more populated states become more integrated into the global economy and adopt the industrial techniques of the richer states.”

The United States is an essential part to a whole interconnected entity. This is referred to simply as the international economic system. The dichotomy between poor and rich nations is linked to, but not directly responsible for, national security issues such as global terrorism.

Combating poverty may be the first step to begin building a more unified global network of national security, beginning with a more powerful nation such as the United States.

The Global Poverty Project quotes the National Security Strategy to describe the cost of this dichotomy: “America is now threatened less by conquering states than failing ones.”

Military personnel and international intelligence cooperation agrees that although combating global poverty may not be the outright solution to violent conflict, it can be a method by which to better utilize global diplomatic unity.

According to the Borgen Project, “84% of military officers said that strengthening non-military tools, such as diplomacy and development efforts, should be at least equal to strengthening military efforts.”

Global poverty is the antithesis to worldwide security and peace, specifically when rich and poorer nation-states are unfairly divided economically without a reasonable process of growth.

The Global Poverty Project encapsulated this idea in stating, “Violent conflict is development in reverse. It destroys societies and is a shortcut to extreme poverty.”

The ongoing concern of national security is not only a diplomatic issue but also a vulnerable look into the realm of the human condition. Perhaps it is in the providing basic necessities to those less fortunate where feeling safe can once again become a social truth.

Lance Moore

Sources: ECSP, Borgen Project, State Department, Global Poverty Project
Photo: The Daily Mail

India's Private Academies Help Reduce Poverty
Being one of the world’s most populous countries, India’s young workforce (age 25 and younger) is roughly double the population of the entire United States. While hundreds of millions of workers can be seen as an incredible resource, it also presents a pressing dilemma. India is currently posed with the problem of employment, which becomes more and more imminent as the young adult population increases.

In the next nine years, India must train 500 million people. To solve this issue, the Indian government has made practical job training a priority. Training centers such as Gras Learning Academy are becoming more and more popular as the demand for specific skills increases. Since the education offered at institutions such as Gras is so specific, it has a higher job placement rate. Due to this trend, Gras and other private academies are growing in number all over India.

However, Gras not only offers classes in specialized skills such as cellphone repair and computer networking. Academies like Gras offer classes in basic life skills for students from impoverished areas who may not have had the time or ability to attend middle and high school. These basic life skills include the importance of punctuality, speaking professionally with managers, and presenting yourself in a well-kept manner.

In many cases, the needs of struggling economies are overshadowed by prescriptive solutions that are often based on theory. However, private academies in India have addressed poverty very practically by understanding the setbacks of the students, and the demands of the workforce, building a bridge from one to the other.

– Pete Grapentien

Sources: The New York Times