Tech has a critical role in “Eradicating poverty in all its forms”, the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). Jidaw notes that the United Nations (UN) describes poverty as “one of the greatest challenges facing humanity”.
At Jidaw we advocate the need for all to employ smart 21st century tools such as mobile technology; especially “lower middle-income countries, including China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria” which are “home to about half of the global poor”.
Over 700 million globally are classified poor. Too many people live in poverty. One person living in poverty is one too many.
Jidaw insists that poverty is an enemy of development. The UN defines Poverty as “a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity.” The knowledgeable and strategic application of IT certainly must be in the arsenal in the fight to eradicate poverty. At Jidaw, we call for the use of tech to solve REAL problems and create sustainable solutions. Poverty is an area in which tech should show itself BIG.
The issues are complex. Often as a result of unemployment, a lack of income and resources, poverty breeds illiteracy, social inequalities, societal exclusion, homelessness, disease and insecurity. Most times, Jidaw notes that the result is the inability to participate meaningfully in society. The question from Jidaw is: Where is dignity when people can’t feed their families, or where they lack access to shelter? The poor often have to live in unsafe and unhygienic environments. Emotional and mental health challenges shouldn’t be forgotten. Discrimination is real. The poor are vulnerable. And it is a problem that can’t be wished away.
Tech needs to start being seen as a strong force in the elimination of poverty. Job creation in and through tech should elicit interest because unemployment is a major cause of poverty. Jidaw notes that enabled by technology, innovative practices open new paths – creating new ways of generating income, new work methods and opportunities. Increasing productivity and competitiveness for more opportunities and choices is the desired outcome. For us at Jidaw, we advocate this as the modern way to push poverty back. The world has gone digital; serious efforts must embrace technology in the attempt to reduce poverty.
Novel approaches to learning, doing business and even relaxation introduces new job and income opportunities. Jidaw says: the beauty of IT innovation is its power of disruption. It disrupts and creates the new in any field. Innovative and critical thinking is the driving force. Notably, young people with their bold ideas, futuristic concepts and creative energy are fundamental to the success of this movement. These digital natives create new things and shape the future.
New growth hits poverty hard. Emerging payment systems, fresh healthcare delivery approaches, automating the processes of small scale manufacturers, etc. At Jidaw we call on Governments to also use IT to effectively deliver social security programmes and safety net schemes geared towards vulnerable members of the populace.
Jidaw asks: Genuinely interested in fighting poverty? The Right thinking is needed. Get serious, use technology and get strategic! Tech innovation is undeniably essential to the sustainable ending of poverty.