As access to technology increases in both developed and developing countries around the world, it’s helping improve various aspects of life in these nations. Here are five of the most significant improvements technology are helping to advance the quality of life that citizens in developing countries have.
1. Improved Access To Education
A crucial part of how a country progresses is the education of its citizens. Access to the Internet and Internet-enabled devices is helping improve students’ access to information and learning tools in developing countries. Learning how to use technology also helps these students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
Various tech companies have launched campaigns to encourage technology and media literacy among students in developing countries. In many cases, the devices used in the developing world need to be relatively low-cost, be durable and have low power requirements. Basic cell phones can now cost as little as $15.
Numerous organizations have sprung up to provide these types of tools to students around the world, helping them build a better, more connected future.
2. Improved Health Care Services
Many people in developing countries lack adequate access to health care services — even basic ones. Access to the Internet has given many people newfound access to health information that can help them take better care of themselves. It also helps them find medical services nearby, or even speak with a doctor online — a practice called telemedicine.
When a health incident occurs, such as a disease outbreak or a day of unusually high heat, locals can receive text messages warning them about the event and informing them of actions they can take. Various nonprofits have begun offering this service.
Other, non-Internet-related technologies are also helping people meet basic health needs, such as access to clean drinking water. Affordable water purifiers are now much more widely available than they were in the past.
3. Improved Help For Refugees
Nonprofits help meet the needs of many people in developing nations around the world. To obtain these services, though, people need to know where to find them. As more people gain access to cell phones and other communications technologies, it becomes easier to find out where and how to get the services they need.
For refugees, finding these services is particularly challenging, even after they arrive in a country where they have refugee status. They might not speak the local language and may lack proof of their identity.
The use of digital technologies is making it easier for refugees to get the information they need and keep a digital record of their identity that they can transfer if they move someplace else, enabling them to get help quickly once they arrive. Internet technologies can also help displaced people translate basic phrases and navigate their new environments.
4. Improved Access To Electricity
Access to electricity is crucial to improving the economies of the developing world. Often, though, access to power is hard to come by — especially for those in remote regions.
Advancements in renewable energy technologies have helped improve the availability of electricity, while also protecting the environment. Solar systems are now much more affordable and can provide power even in remote locations.
The use of biofuels provides a double benefit. Using animal waste from livestock, as well as human waste, provides people in remote areas with a reliable, clean source of power, while also improving sanitation and reducing the risk of disease.
5. Job Market Growth
Access to technology generally leads to economic growth. In developing nations, technology is helping people increase their productivity and find new job opportunities.
Access to banking services is much rarer in developing countries, sometimes making it challenging for people to get paid for their work. Mobile financial services have made it much easier for people to transfer money to each other and to open up bank accounts.
Without Internet access, businesses in these countries were also cut off from the global economy. As this changes, entrepreneurs are finding new ways to expand their companies and gaining access to new tools. Research has shown Internet access has a strong connection to per capita income.
Technology is transforming both developed and developing countries. In the latter, it’s enabling improved access to education, healthcare, electricity and more. Technology, when used wisely, can play a vital role in helping just about any area advance.