Millennium Development Goals Tech Road Map: Your Thoughts

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This is part of our year-long series “Millennium Development Goals Tech Roadmap”

This year Global Wire Associates has focused its attention on how technology is supporting the Millennium Development Goals and the post 2015 development agenda.  We asked for your thoughts on this issue in our contest, and received over 400 entrants from 36 countries!

Most of the entries were very valuable and informative, but we were only able to select a few for publication.  All of the winners will receive a refurbished iPod Nano and one free consultation with a Global Wire Associates staff member.  We asked you guys to tell us what the roadmap should look like, and these are the top responses:

Thank you for running your roadmap series.  I was living in Uganda in 2000 when the MDGs were first proposed.  I do believe new media has helped to advance the development agenda in my home country.  I worked in a maternity clinic that catered to rural women, who would travel many miles for medical appointments and their midwives.  Five years ago, the clinic began sending text messages to pregnant women and new mothers reminders to take medication, appointment follow ups, and short information about nutrition.  We even sent messaging to remind them to smile and think about the new life they brought into the world.  Texting helps us reach out to rural women who can’t always come to the clinic.  Our midwives are able to connect with women instantly about any problems with their pregnancies and newborns.  I am very hopeful that technology will continue to close the health gap in developing countries.

– Margaret Kumo, Dubai, UAE

I would be very interested in the future development of e-democracy.  I am pleased that the Sustainable Development Goals includes a mandate on inclusion and accountable.  A society is judged by its ability to speak freely and elect politicians in a truly democratic manner.  I support the idea of e-voting because democracy should be accessible for everyone.  Being able to vote on my phone is great, and it would be even better for people who are not able to travel to voting booths such as our elders and disabled citizens. I would also like to see more e-governance initiatives that connect citizens with their elected officials such as regular voice your concerns Twitter chats.  We would be a better society if we had these allowances for everyone.  

– Hussein Ahmadi, Stockholm, Sweden

Climate change is the greatest threat to our planet.  Technology is a double-edged sword.  The ability to talk to someone anywhere in the world instantly via text messaging or video conferencing cuts down on the need to travel and create a large carbon footprint.  On the other hand, electronic waste from all of our disposed smartphones and computers are having a devastating effect on the global waste stream.  I would like to see more discussion and decisive policy on green technology.  Computers and mobile phones should be made to have a longer life cycle, but I also think we as a society has to change our mindset around needing to buy the latest phone every time one comes out.  It would help our environment.

– Morgan Shaw, Portland, Oregon, USA

Education is a big issue for me.  When I was growing up, I didn’t have adequate access to education.  I grew up in a village with no electricity, so I was only able to read my books and school lessons during daylight.  Fast forward 20 years and my children are using e-readers and mobile phones to do their lessons.  My 10-year-old daughter loves to read and downloads 4 or 5 ebooks on her e-reader every month.  She receives many of her books from the International Children’s Digital Library. She even showed me how to download books onto my mobile phone. Technology and specifically the Internet has made the world a smaller place, makes education more accessible to all, and put everyone on the same playing field.  I am blessed that my children and grandchildren will have more social mobility in life because of it.

– Arban Enkhjargal, Ulan Bator, Mongolia

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