Setting goals is hard. And implementing them even harder. Whether these are New Years’ resolutions or personal career development—the process of defining and meeting goals takes a lot of time, energy and thought. This week, the world’s leaders from governments, nonprofits and the private sector are meeting in New York to release a new set of global goals that create the guiding framework for governments to address global challenges over the next 15 years. These goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are sets of targets relating to international development challenges—and include things like ending poverty, ensuring healthy lives, making cities safe, and achieving gender equality, and ensuring inclusive education. They were created by the United Nations—with inputs from stakeholders from all sectors, government leaders and citizens. This was a long process over multiple years—with lots of debates, meetings and discussions to ensure that the goals include the key priorities critical to global development.
Throughout these discussions, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been discussed as key enablers to address some of these most intractable development issues. But with the release of the SDGs, how should governments, NGOs, and practitioners integrate these technologies into their implementation strategies? Over the last few decades, there has been a massive growth in technological development and opportunities that have been and continue to transform people’s lives and the planet. Now, more than ever, those possibilities are within reach. However, the benefits from ICTs have not been evenly distributed—with significant gaps in internet and technology access, affordability and availability. It is critical to look at technology NOT as a separate solution – but something that can and should be integrated into all development and economic empowerment interventions.
So Intel decided to collaborate with nonprofit partners like NetHope and others to develop a SDG technology playbook to guide people in understanding how ICTs can play an enabling role in the implementation and execution of these goals. Today, with our partners, we released the playbook, which is a practical resource for governments, private sector, and NGOs in planning their use of ICTs to enhance effectiveness and scalability of the Sustainable Development Goals. It examines the technologies that have great potential to address needs within each development sector and provides recommendations on approaches and partnerships for overcoming the challenges in implementing them. A key recommendation we have is that all organizations examine the role that ICTs can play in achieving the SDGs and to align their ICT investments to achieve the maximum impact during implementation.
We hope this will foster dialogue, discussion and tactical strategies for stakeholders to leverage technologies in the implementation of the SDGs. We are confident that together as we move into the implementation of these goals, we can drive more equitable access to ICTs, new thinking, and new skills to inspire disruption to address these global challenges.