Ensuring participation of the poor in selection of technology

When poor populations are introduced to technologies, the chances for successful outcomes are improved markedly when the prospective users are directly involved in the process of selecting adequate technologies, properly adapting them to prevailing economic activities and conditions, disseminating the technologies among themselves, and mastering and improving on them. It is recommended that agents responsible for upgrading technologies and skills in poor communities build a strong participatory dimension into such programmes.

Participation in a more general sense could have equally important beneficial effects with respect to low-income people's innovativeness, incentives to risk experiments with new technologies and their ability to recognize opportunities inherent in market-oriented national and international economies. When poor populations are politically impotent and socially marginalized, all of the foregoing attributes are severely diminished. The keys are political empowerment and greater social integration of poor populations; closely associated with these objectives is greater decentralization of government towards increased local decision-making. As one report on human development observed: Greater peoples participation has become an imperative, a condition of survival . "35 one of the most effective avenues for fostering participation by the poor is the decentralization of state functions, thus freeing, indeed obliging, local communities to engage in problem-solving activities and in the formulation and execution of development policies. It is important that governments recognize the political, economic and social benefits flowing from decentralized governance, empowerment and social integration of poor populations and so implement actions supporting these objectives. Particular attention and special effort should be devoted to encouraging participation of both men and women. While a role is to be played by all levels of actors in achieving these objectives, the linchpin is the engagement of intermediate and fundamental nongovernmental organizations that can assist local organizations in attempting to solve their own problems. This fits comfortably with the emphasis given by the World Summit for Social Development to the goal of social integration.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced Inequality