Technological Solutions Alleviating Poverty
Providing cheap, accessible and reliable technological solutions can alleviate poverty in developing nations. Technological innovations have proven to provide small-scale farmers with agribusiness and expansion opportunities for education services. They also provide growth in energy production and water security. Affordable innovations are therefore essential to improve the lives of those in need. Here are four technological solutions alleviating poverty in developing nations.

4 Technological Solutions Alleviating Poverty

  1. Digital Devices – Global citizens have more access to digital devices than ever before. In developing nations, the overwhelming usage of digital devices allows for the precise gathering of data. This collection of data provides opportunities to improve the health and food sector. For example, the Harvard School of Public Health effectively explained why and how diseases spread in Kenya. Researchers utilized statistics from digital devices to effectively locate the spread of diseases. In developing nations, digital devices can also help to connect small-scale farmers. For example, WeFarm is a free digital network that connects farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. WeFarm uses artificial intelligence to connect farmers with similar questions and answers. It also promotes the sharing of information, innovations and solutions. Therefore, farmers have seen an increase in earnings, pricing and quality of products. Similar to WeFarm, Esoko also promotes agribusiness in African countries. Esoko is a web-based program connecting small farmers to large-scale markets. Esoko sends SMS messaging offering price notifications, market opportunities and supply totals. The implementation of Esoko has decreased the cost of local farmers’ transactions. It has also increased consulting abilities and the income of small farmers. Therefore, digital devices are successful technological solutions alleviating poverty.
  2. Online Learning – Additionally, online learning is one of the other technological solutions alleviating poverty in developing nations. Improving educational opportunities is essential for a nation’s overall growth. Unfortunately, specific regions of developing nations do not have access to in-person education services. Therefore, online learning bridges this gap. The African Virtual University (AVU) is a nonprofit organization delivering higher education courses to citizens in Sub-Saharan Africa. AVU offers online learning courses from 50 universities. AVU’s mission is to improve the quality of education, provide women with educational opportunities and stimulate economic growth. In 2011, 25,000 students from 17 African countries enrolled in AVU. AVU has successfully impacted African economies by producing citizens with degrees in business or technology.
  3. Fog Catchers – People utilize fog catchers in regions where there is minimal rainfall. Fog catchers use a fitted mesh to catch water droplets. Droplets then funnel through drainages and into filters. The water that this equipment catches goes toward agriculture, laundry and other appliances. In Lima, Peru, a team from the Youthinkgreen nonprofit organization trained locals to build fog catchers. Locals expect to save over 50% of their water usage a day.
  4. Hydropower – One strategy of hydropower is to implement a versatile dam. Dams increase water security with the expansion of water storage. Hydropower also provides communities with clean, cheap and consistent energy. In the Hubei Province of China, four poor counties received hydropower development projects. The project’s mission was to use technological solutions to alleviate poverty in these counties. The project directly funded various poverty agendas of each county. An assessment of the project found that the ability of hydropower development to alleviate poverty was significant. The counties’ income levels even exceeded China’s poverty line.

Overall, affordable technological solutions alleviate global poverty in developing nations. Technology must be easy to use and consistent with the intension of generating economic progression. As technology continues to develop, services should become less exclusive and therefore more available to developing countries.

John Brinkman
Photo: Flickr