Towards pro-poor innovation: Putting public value into science and technology (2007)

Please fill the following information to request the publication in hardcopy. We will get in touch with you shortly.

All form fields are required.

This issue of id21 insights focuses on innovation for poor people:
  • Towards pro-poor innovation - Putting public value into science and technology: We live in a rapidly changing world. Technological advances are increasing productivity and income, quality of life and life expectancy… in the developed world, that is. The truth is that technological development is focused on meeting the wants of rich consumers. Scant attention is paid to the vital needs of people in the developing world.  The arrival of new technologies often results in a wider gap between the rich and the poor. Yet some innovations fail to be applied in developing countries where there is a real need. As E.F. Schumacher observed, 'new technologies are developed only when people of power and wealth back the development'.
  • Biotechnology in Bangalore - The politics of innovation: Bangalore in Karnataka, southern India, has become an iconic technology capital, fuelled by massively successful software and technology industries. Many people see it as a taste of Asia's future, where the old concerns of 'development' are banished by a high-growth knowledge economy.
  • Nano-dialogues - Helping scientists to meet poor people's needs: Researchers from Demos, Practical Action and the University of Lancaster collaborated on a project designed to engage Zimbabwean community groups and scientists, from both the North and South, in debates about new nano-technologies. The dialogue was one of four experiments in public engagement with nanotechnologies, known as the nano-dialogues, funded by the Sciencewise programme of the UK Office of Science and Technology.
  • Supporting local innovation in Nepal: For poor and vulnerable rural communities, innovating through local experimentation and adaptation in farming and other practices is an important means of survival. How can local innovation be fostered and valued alongside the wider development of high technology, which is commonly associated with globalisation?
  • China: the next science superpower?  China in 2007 is the world's largest technocracy: a country ruled by scientists and engineers who believe in the power of new technologies to deliver social and economic progress.
  • Enhancing rural livelihoods: The role of ICTs: Access, empowerment and individual champions are all essential ingredients for creating a local environment in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can contribute to rural livelihoods.
  • Case Study - Social entrepreneurship in Kenya: Technological innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial to development. A new entrepreneurial approach to development is emerging. This involves designing new technologies and adapting existing ones to suit the specific requirements of poor people. These are then bought by poor people to form the basis of small businesses or used to help people meet their basic human needs.
  • Threats, opportunities and incentives for pro-poor innovation: Many advocates of pro-poor innovation fear a globalised world that is exploited by large corporate enterprises and powerful countries, now including China and India. Perceived threats include loss of local knowledge and powerlessness of low income economies and their enterprises in the face of cheap goods produced elsewhere. Pro-poor innovations, such as drought- or disease-resistant crops or effective and cheap drugs are often not prioritised.
Language: English
Imprint: id21 insights 68, September 2007 http://www.id21.org/insights/insights68/insights68.pdf 2007
Series: Newsletter,
Download: