01.06.16 - The 4th International UNESCO Conference on Technologies for Development (Tech4Dev 2016) was held in at EPFL in Lausanne from 2-4 May 2016.

The conference gathered 460 attendees from 65 countries - researchers, decision-makers, representatives from NGOs, international organizations and the private sector - all eager to address the guiding question on how we go from innovation to social impact.

Over three days, 75 scientific papers were presented in the fields of ICT, energy, urban development, disaster risk reduction, medical technologies, and humanitarian action. Conference attendees also had the opportunity to attend an additional 10 interactive sessions to learn more and contribute to discussions in crosscutting themes such as measuring development outcomes and successfully upscaling promising technologies. The conference also served as a platform to officially launch the new open access, interdisciplinary Journal of Development Engineering (Dev Eng), published by Elsevier.

Some of the key questions which emerged from the discussions over the three days include:

  • We all agree that technologies need to be affordable, appropriate and robust. Who defines what is affordable, appropriate and robust?
  • Are we ready to delegate the power to local communities?
  • Why are we accountable to donors but not to communities?
  • How can we create technology adoption incentives?

“Innovative technologies have an important role to play in our search for sustainable global development. However, technologies by themselves are not enough”, noted Dr. Silvia Hostettler, Conference Chair. “The Tech4Dev Conference is a platform for people to work together towards appropriate, financially sustainable and upscalable technologies leading to a real impact in the field.”

The next Tech4Dev Conference will be held at EPFL from 27-29 June 2018.

Link: Tech4Dev 2016 Photo Gallery

Author:Eileen HazbounSource:Cooperation