Technology for Development (T4D)
Technology can be an effective means to tackling many significant challenges that Afghanistan is currently facing. The importance of Technology for development (T4D) cannot be overstated. It can help in creating more jobs, creating sustainable and green systems as well preventing and mitigating risks associated with natural hazards and calamities.
Over the past 16-18 years, Afghanistan has seen a huge surge in the use of technology. Now over more than 73% of the population have mobile phones, although the use of internet is still amongst one of the lowest in the world, i.e. out of a total of 30 million population, only 1.25 million have access to the internet. Despite this, the rate of use of internet is increasing with an incredible rate.
Technology has tremendous potential in playing its role in the development of Afghanistan. The GoIRA is aiming to introduce, in a phased manner, E-Governance – reducing processing time as well helping create a paperless culture. Similarly, almost all of the government employees receive their salaries through mobile payment system, reducing the hectic exercise of going to the bank and withdrawing money. Apart from government, development sector organizations and NGOs have been using technology to contribute towards their objective and developmental work. For example, in collaboration with the local community members, the World Bank helped create opensource applications called OpenCamera and MyTracks to map the areas that are prone to environmental hazards to preempt and avoid any crises situation. This will help in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) measures to avoid the effects of natural hazards. In the same vein, World Food Program has rolled out a system called SCOPE that contains the photos and biometric details of all the eligible aid recipients. This system ensures the registration process is completed in a swift and transparent manner as well as assistance is provided with ease to the target population. This increases the effectiveness as well as the accountability to both the recipients (beneficiaries) as well as donors.
APWDO is committed to contributing its bit for the increased use of technology for addressing the governance, development and humanitarian challenges of Afghanistan. We are currently in the process of developing strategies and programs that will effectively contribute to the enhanced use of the technology in our interventions as well as assisting other actors to integrate the use of technology in their undertakings. We intend to develop a broad portfolio of services in this area, which will be launched in due course.
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