Technologies for Development: What Really Matters?

  • Silvia HostettlerEmail author
Conference paper


Technological innovation is vital for finding solutions to key challenges the world is facing. Climate change, pollution, disease, rising inequalities, and chronic poverty all need to be addressed. We need renewable energy sources, efficient transport networks, functioning public health systems, well-designed infrastructure, improved agricultural systems, and access to quality education for everyone. Technologies for development play a key role as pathways to sustainable development. Developing and emerging countries can take advantage of technological leapfrogging in key domains such as health (mHealth), energy (solar, wind, and hydropower), education (massive open online courses [MOOCs]), urban development (smart cities), and agriculture (precision farming). Developing and emerging countries could even surpass high-income countries in the use of information and communication technology (ICTs). We can expect technological innovation to be increasingly developed in the Global South and to become a source of inspiration for the Global North. Living labs, open-source, and open innovation movements are growing trends that will support and accelerate the development of effective technologies. Standards are needed to guarantee the quality, reliability, and safety of technologies in the Global South, particularly for medical devices. International Standards Organization (ISO) and United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards often prove to be slow, inaccessible, and expensive.


Technological Innovation Smart City Precision Farming International Standard Organization Social Entrepreneur 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cooperation & Development Center (CODEV)Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)LausanneSwitzerland

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