In a world where developmental activities are going at a fast pace, we are lucky to have been gifted with ICTs which our ancestors have never imagined of having. The term ICT is often known as Information and Communication Technologies. According to UNESCO, ICT is a wide range of technologies which are used to generate, store, share, convey or exchange information between two or more mediums. It can come in different forms such as computers, mobile phones, internet and television.
ICT is the answer for all the development events that are occurring today. It plays a key role in the advancement of the nations in terms of human development as well as infrastructural development. Since the creation of human beings, ICT has played a significant role in advancing our lives in some form. Today, ICT is highly linked to our lives and is used for almost anything starting from small calculations to predicting upcoming storms and traveling to other planets.
In this report you will be able to find how I perceive development, the role of Sustainable Development Goals, Gender Equality, Role of communication as well as ICT in the process of development. This report will also give a brief idea on how to speed up the development process.
My Perception on Development
Development comes in different means and hence, development can mean different things for different people. For instance, people from a poor country like Nigeria might define development as being able to eat at least two times a day while for an advanced country like United States of America, development might mean being able to land or to settle in Mars. For others, it might be sky scrapers and advanced alien technology.
In my opinion, development is being able to safeguard all the basic necessities for all the people living in a country. Basic necessities such as good food, safe drinking water, clean clothes, shelter, educational facilities and health facilities must be provided to all the people in a nation in order for it to be called as a developed country. Development also includes the financial, social and political stability of the people in that particular country. In my opinion, unless these characteristics are fulfilled for all the residents, developmental process is not completed even if the country is full of skyscrapers, colorful buildings or luxury hotels. Employment is also an imperative factor with no doubt as employment is one of the sources of improved financial conditions. Even though improved economic conditions are vital for the developmental process, progressive changes in the living standards is the most important factor involved in the development. According to Jair and Rogerio (2008), Riberio (2005) defined development as a state, process, wellbeing, progress, economic and human growth or ecological balance (Jr & Quintella, 2008).
Maldives is a small country where the its total population is split into several islands. Almost every atoll has one or more luxury tourist resorts or guesthouses. However, we still have quite a few islands where the most basic requirements such as medical facilities and educational facilities are not fulfilled. For instance; the residents of B. Fehendhoo carries their kids to their neighbor island B. Goidhoo with the help of a dinghy to take them to school for education. The healthcare facilities havent also been fulfilled so far. The medicines they require are also bought from the neighboring islands. There are few more islands which still does not have the basic health care facilities as well. Moreover, majority of the inhabited islands in Maldives still does not have a proper Sewerage System installed. Hence considering these factors, I believe that the development process of Maldives is not yet complete.
Moreover, Millions of people have lost their homes on wars. These are the steps we put backwards in the run for development. Gaza is one of the most recent example of it. Likewise, over 50 people lost all their belongings and homes in the recent fire broke in Male, Henveiru. Such people will also need help in getting their lives back.
Role of Sustainable Development Goals in Development
There are seventeen key Sustainable Development Goals set universally by United Nations for the year 2030 and these goals are supposed to be the target for all the countries in the world. Those goals are focused in areas such as health, education, infrastructure, geographical factors and conservation of nature. Each of these goals perform a major role in development process.
First 3 goals are focused on improving the health conditions. United Nations targeted to achieve zero poverty by 2030 across the globe. According to a study carried out by UN, 736 million people lived under extreme poverty in the year 2015. However, the goal is to end poverty by 2030, their research proved that we are still not on the right track to achieve the goal on or before the expected year even though we were able to cut down half of the poverty recorded in the year 1990. (United Nations , 2019).
Ending hunger was considered as the second most important goal. UNs main target for this goal was to ensure everyone is fed with hygienic, nutritious food on a regular basis by encouraging agricultural sustainability. This will help us to build a healthy generation who will be fit enough to work and earn to secure their future themselves. This will also help us to achieve the third goal which is to ensure a healthy lifestyle and encourage wellbeing for people from all ages. Controlling deaths from dangerous diseases such as measles through vaccination is also a part of this goal which has also reduced the measles death rates by 80% between the year 2000 and 2017. According to Lauren Weber (2017), healthy people performs better and hence, they play a better role in improving the economic conditions as they are high on productivity compare to other worker. (Weber, 2017)
Providing a quality education is the fourth and one of the most important goals in ensuring and supporting continuous development of the countries for future in terms of human development as well as economic development. According to UN (2019), one out of every five children between six to 17 years does not attend to school. We Maldivians are lucky to be able to receive free primary and secondary education thus achieving an outstanding 98.61% literacy level as of 2014 according to UNESCO.
For years, women have been considered weak and vulnerable. Achieving Gender equality (6th goal) is also equally important as including women in the work forces will boost up the development process. Moreover, participation of women in projects related to women will give a much better outcome. According to UN (2019), 39% of the workforce are occupied by women however only 27% of them are in the managerial positions. The sixth developmental goal is providing clean water and ensuring viable management of sanitation. That is one of the most basic needs of human beings. According to a recent publication by WHO (2019), an estimate of 485000 people could die after drinking contaminated drinking water (World Health Organization, 2019). Since, clean water contributes to good health of people, the productivity of the people will have direct impact from it.
Clean and affordable energy will have direct impact on the economic output as well as the good health and well-being of the people. The next goal is promoting decent work and economic progression. As of UN (2019), the worlds unemployment rate is 5% in the year 2018. Employment and economic growth are two of the major components that defines the level of development in any country. The ninth goal concerns about robust and sustainable infrastructure and innovation. In todays competitive world, without great innovations and strong infrastructure the development rates of any country will drop down before we know it (Alonso, n.d.). Research and development also contributes to faster development. According to UN (2019), the world also has invested $2 Trillion in research and development till 2016.
The tenth Goal is to reduce inequalities of income and basic facilities inside and amongst countries. The next goal is to provide safer, stronger and sustainable dwellings by developing the cities and then the target is to regulate and control the consumption patterns of the resources including natural resources to protect the future of the people and Earth. (Raptim, 2018)
Climate actions such as fighting against climate change, saving the life below water, conserving land and forests have also been considered in determining the sustainable development goals. As per United Nations (2019), the average temperature has risen by 1O C in 2018 while the concentration of CO2 has also been recorded as 146%. These are the results of poor developmental practices and deforestation. Such changes in climate could be harmful for the low lying islands such as Maldivian islands, Mauritius and the health of all the people in general. Such changes can gradually slow down the development process and force us to put all our energies in saving the earth instead of developmental activities.
The rest of the developmental goals are focused on maintaining peace and justice throughout the world. Peace and Justice is also very important in ensuring the safety of local and foreign investors and investments which is a vital part of economic growth.