An assault on poverty: basic human needs, science and by United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for

By United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Panel on Technology for Basic Needs, International Development Research Centre (Canada)

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The experience reflected in this study proved that R&D Page 18 of new, inexpensive products for meeting the pressing needs of the majority of the population should be directed to solving clearly identified problems, should include studies of the characteristics of the economic sector and the consumers to be served, and should be supplemented by activities aimed at promoting the market for the resulting products. Conclusions The cases reviewed in the previous section show a diversity in technology choice, economic policy orientation, and interaction among the parties involved.

This trend is substantiated by indicators such as rising per capita income and life expectancy and declining infant mortality. For millions of people, technological progress has satisfactorily resolved the basic-needs problem. Although technologically the world has never been in a better position to improve the conditions of very poor populations, roughly 20% of the world’s population have not benefited materially from advances in technology. In many parts of the world the poor, especially poor women, are losing ground in income and amenities relative to the remainder of the population.

Such development is critical to overcoming the input-supply bottlenecks of agro-industries and food-processing industries, which also suffer from a general lack of interindustry integration. Rural industry is recognized as an important employer but lacks major technological development and faces infrastructural and marketing problems. The case study of Ecuador also shows that in many consumer industries, linking up with various technological levels will be Page 17 necessary if the objectives of employment creation, income generation, and reduction of overall production deficits are to be met simultaneously.

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