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New report offers a blueprint for prudent investments in technology, through which governments can create effective and fair health and education services.

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Well-considered investments in digital technology can be transformational for health and education services across the developing world, but too often they fail to deliver impact at scale, according to research released today by the Oxford University-based Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development.

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Pathways Commission, said: “Better health and education for young people – the twin engines of what economists call ‘human capital’ – could drive the next phase of economic progress in developing countries, but only if governments design policies to ensure technology reaches the most marginalized communities.”

The Commission’s new report, Positive disruption: health and education in a digital agehas found that silver bullet initiatives, focussing only on technological hardware, such as introducing laptops in classrooms, are often not effective beyond the initial pilot. This is usually due to policy makers adopting a piecemeal approach, which fails to consider the wider system in which the technology is being used.

However, the research finds that by looking at entire health and education systems, and deploying technology at strategic points, countries can provide health and education that works for all.

Read more (University of Oxford website)