The Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development (WG on ITSD) is a subsidiary body under the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), comprising senior policymakers, researchers, decision-makers, and implementers from the SPECA countries responsible for developing guidance and finding practical solutions to problems identified by the countries.
Digital technologies including information and communication technologies (ICT) for development are cutting across many sectors. Progress on certain SDGs can be traced and correlated with ICT progress, especially in monitoring SDG 9: Infrastructure, Industrialization and Innovation, SDG 4: Quality Education and SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, which suggests that these may be the areas with the greatest potential for leveraging ICT for sustainable development.
Infrastructure underpins core economic activity and is an essential foundation for achieving inclusive and sustainable economic and social growth as it enhances access to services, education and work opportunities. Yet the world in which we live is fundamentally unequal. It is designed, built and maintained without considering the needs of all members of our society, including the most vulnerable. Gender-blind infrastructure often empowers men but impedes women and girls’ ability to contribute equally in society.
Information and communication technology (ICT) has made fast, wide and deep technological impacts on international development worldwide, driven by rapid growth of mobile, Internet and broadband access in developing countries. The extent of developmental impact has already been recognized- supporting the work of hundreds of millions of farmers and micro-entrepreneurs with access to markets, produce and techniques; creating millions of ICT-based jobs; assisting healthcare workers and teachers; helping climate change adaptations, just to name a few.
Development Account Project on Addressing the Transboundary Dimensions of the 2030 Agenda through Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific: Subregional Inception Meeting
Trans-boundary infrastructure development in energy, ICT, and transport sectors is critical for improving regional economic cooperation and integration across Asia and the Pacific and is vital for socioeconomic development of landlocked developing countries. However, such development faces many challenges including the need to mobilize substantial financial resources, address potentially damaging impacts of natural disasters and ensure the principle of “no one left behind”.