The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has convened an expert roundtable on expanding the use of mobile technologies to promote sustainable human development, including policymakers, social innovators, civil society, and the private sector.
With some 6 billion subscriptions worldwide, mostly in developing countries, mobile phones have opened new opportunities for innovation to address longstanding gaps and challenges in development. Social innovators have adapted and developed mobile applications that respond to local needs and demands.
The roundtable at the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS)+10 Review, Paris, France, is expected to facilitate sharing of experiences and exchange of knowledge about efforts in this arena on a global scale. Panelists include experts from UNDP and Motorola Solutions.
The dialogue, according to UNDP, is the first in a series planned by the UN agency with Motorola Solutions focused on deepening understanding of the current state of mobile technology for development. It will inform other upcoming activities such as a workshop planned in Kenya this May.
These consultations aim to identify and support flagship initiatives in the area of mobile technologies as well as cutting-edge innovations.
Efforts by UNDP and Motorola Solutions seek to stimulate the diffusion of mobile initiatives for sustainable human development on a larger scale and contribute to consultations and dialogue now under way on the post-2015 development agenda.
With information and communications technologies playing an ever larger role in delivery of basic services such as education and health, improved connectivity has become a major development imperative.
Mobile technologies are now widely seen as critical to addressing emerging challenges such as climate change, food security, management of power and water, road safety, and the design and management of “smart cities.”
UNDP is co-organiser of the WSIS+10 Review meeting with ITU, UNESCO, and UNCTAD.