Science for development: Human driven development

Carolina Odman of IDIA’s Development and Outreach office, and Kevin Govender from the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development explore how science and technology can fundamentally change the context in which human development is defined, through the lens of shared ownership and decentralisation.

The reflection is a contribution to the United Nations Development Programme and International Science Council project on Rethinking Human Development.

The introduction of the piece reads:

Conversations, insights, planning, strategizing and thinking over the last three decades about human development, by great minds from all over the world, have shaped an amazing landscape around this issue, within which we all strive for one simple goal: to make the world a better place. While “rearticulating human development” we must celebrate the wisdom that came before and recognise the strengths of the current state of play. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the current definition of human development, nor with the SDGs – they are a comprehensive and worthy set of ambitions that has managed to rally the world’s leaders (both in government and industry) and provide common ground for a diverse human population to work towards a united vision. The question then is what can we do better in a world very different from 30 years ago? Where are the gaps that would motivate this rethinking of human development? The six “emerging dimensions for a new human development paradigm”, as articulated by the ISC-UNDP project, capture well the possible issues in need of consideration. Here we explore an overall perspective of this already well-informed landscape, with a focus on science and technology, and two underlying principles: one of shared ownership, and one of decentralisation. With a combined lens of shared ownership and decentralisation, we explore how science and technology can fundamentally change the context in which human development is defined.

You can read the entire article on the website of the International Science Council