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Audio Guide: The Next Page - Transcripts

Welcome to the UN Library and Archives Geneva's Audio Research Guide! Here you'll find episodes from our own podcast, The Next Page, as well as podcasts and audio from or on the UN system and multilateralism.

It Takes a Global Crisis: Episode 1, Digitization & Connectivity, a COVID-driven race

by Tiffany Xiang Verga on 2022-01-20T14:55:00+01:00 | Comments

Tiffany Verga 

Hello and welcome to The Next Page, the podcast of the UN Library and Archives Geneva dedicated to conversations on multilateralism. This is, ‘It Takes a Global Crisis’, a series of four special episodes in collaboration with the SDG Lab at UN Geneva. 

Edward Mishaud 

Hi, I'm Edward Mishaud from the SDG Lab. 

Tiffany Verga 

And we're Tiffany Verga, 

Natalie Alexander 

And Natalie Alexander from the Library and Archives. 

Edward Mishaud 

Together, we'll explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has in many ways set in motion sustainable development solutions, things that were often talked about but rarely implemented before the crisis. We'll also consider the challenges, the gaps, and the limitations of progress that the pandemic has highlighted. 

Natalie Alexander 

We'll be talking to a range of experts and practitioners as they work both on the ground and in advancing policy on their experiences across the themes of digitalization and connectivity. The environment as a key to resilience, sustainable cities and social protection. 

Tiffany Verga 

At the end of each episode will also share with you a spark, an idea from a real-life project relevant to the episodes theme that is sparking change to advance the SDG's. So did it take a global crisis? Let's find out. 

Edward Mishaud 

Hi everyone, it's Edward here with the SDG lab and I'd like to welcome you to our first episode in this new podcast miniseries between the SDG Lab where I work and the UN Library and Archives here in Geneva. In this episode we will be discussing connectivity and digitalization for the Sustainable Development Goals or the SDG's, and this is a huge topic and it's really one that we could devote an entire podcast too, but for today we would like to dive deeper into the impact of COVID-19 on connectivity and digitalization through the lens of the SDG’s to see whether progress has been accelerated or disadvantage due to the pandemic. 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

It was difficult for us that were fortunate enough to have access to connectivity, but what we really saw in somewhat of a shocking way was what that meant to those that actually didn't have access to connectivity. 

Edward Mishaud 

That's Doreen Bogdan-Martin, she's the director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the ITU. 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

I must say that for countries like Niger or many African countries, it does help us actually being more assertive on what issues, very social citizens and then service delivery to the people wherever they are. 

Edward Mishaud 

And that's Ibrahima Guimba- Saidou, he is the Director General of the National Agency for the Information Society of Niger and he's also the former minister and special advisor of the President of the Republic of Niger. They both joined me in discussing this topic and sharing their insights from their own perspectives.  

As a team, we thought it would be amiss to not comment on some of the audio and connection challenges heard throughout this episode. While we could not address it and really hope you don't notice, this is just another reflection of the scope of Internet connectivity across the world and one of the reasons the advancement of connectivity is so crucial and central to achieving the SDG's. So, without further ado, we hope you enjoy this episode. So let's get into. 

So I just wanted to start us off maybe first Doreen to you and this is just probably just a terminology check, is there a difference between digitalization and digitization? We sometimes hear these two words used interchangeably, so I'm wondering if you can just briefly shed a little bit of light on that. 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

Well, thank you so much, Edward and it's great to be here on such an important topic and as you mentioned that COVID has, let's say put the focus, the spotlight connectivity, I think connectivity has has been the game changing moment for connectivity. So digitization versus digitalization is the question you know I think they can be used interchangeably. I think you know, wee look at this in terms of a process that countries can take to digitize serve, his is in terms of whole of government, maybe Ibrahima will touch on that in a moment. But I think what's important to focus on really is access to digital, because without access digitization versus digitalization, it doesn't matter. And I think it it's important in terms of context setting to remember that today 3.7 billion people don't have access to digital. They don't have access to connectivity, so they can't benefit from digital services and applications. 

Edward Mishaud 

Well, thanks for that Doreen and you just touched upon it, but maybe if you can elaborate a bit more you know how has the COVID-19 pandemic changed connectivity and access to digital tools and content? And really what's possible through these technologies? 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

So COVID-19 has really been an accelerator for digitalization or digital applications and services, and it's also been awake up call for governments and for society as a whole, that, as I mentioned, 3.7 billion people, which is half of humanity has no access to digital tools and services. And of course, when COVID hit and lockdowns began practically overnight, people were forced to work from home, shop from home, learn from home, and of course it was difficult for us that were fortunate enough to have access to connectivity but what we really saw in somewhat of a shocking way was what that meant to those that actually didn't have access to connectivity. So I think it it really has been a big wake up call and it's been a moment where governments and society as a whole has actually understood that connectivity is no longer something that's nice to have, it's actually something that's essential. It's essential for our lives as we move into this new normal post COVID that connectivity is here to stay and so we need to find ways to bridge the digital divide. I think also COVID has I mentioned it's been an accelerator, I think it has pushed countries. I would say both developed and developing to quickly streamline processes and bring digital services online. Things that might have taken months years to happen, happen very quickly because governments needed to get E government services out to their populations, digital financial services were rolled out quickly in countries that didn't have those kinds of services, and so we quickly saw government’s kind of fast paced, normal long processes so that they could actually get the services to their populations that were stuck at home. Basically we saw lots of great innovation in the space of healthcare, e-Health we saw lots of of course, great things happening in terms of e-learning, big challenges. But I would say for the most part we saw lots of acceleration, lots of innovation. We saw governments using previously unused universal service funds to find ways to actually get connectivity to those that didn't have it and of course find ways to actually keep those connected, connected. Because of course, the network experienced huge surges in in traffic and fortunately our sector managed to withstand those huge surges. 

Edward Mishaud 

And Doreen, do you think? I mean, you've talked about this acceleration that we're seeing. So is this from your perspective, and from ITU’s perspective, is this being translated into the impact for the dogs and acceleration of the dogs. 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

So of course, COVID has set us back in terms of progress. We saw that very clearly in the SDG progress report over the summer. It's had a huge impact on the world as a whole on every single SDG, so it has set us back but at the same time. It has exposed a number of opportunities and it's made pretty clearly the case of how digital technologies and connectivity can actually play a huge role in achieving each and every one of those SDG's and hopefully get us back on track. I do think we can get back on track. But if we don't get digital out to the masses, I think it's going to be very difficult to achieve those SDG's. 

Edward Mishaud 

And Ibrahima, I'd like to turn to you, I think this is a nice transition to bring you into the conversation. From your perspective and just reflecting on what Doreen Shared in Niger, what are you seeing play out at country level or even if you can speak to it as well across the African continent in terms of development? What Accelerations that we're seeing because of COVID-19 and this fast switch to providing services but at the same time looking at this massive digital gap that Doreen also mentioned earlier. 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

Thank you for having me, also, it's really a pleasure to be part of this series that you're studying social. Nisha, it's probably the case for many African countries. Overall it is sad to say it has helped us big time, so to speak. Because COVID, as broadly to disable, is that all we're doing is about people we have to focus on people on the citizens, and we have to focus on delivering services to them and for countries like Niger who or let's say on the other side of the spectrum, when it comes to the various development indexes have until now really struggled in trying to address those many challenges alone in a sort of sentiment basis. And COVID has just brought that out, showing us that we need to talk with some people and then have a sort of combo approach, it's all about citizens. Sorry about service delivery and the only way I really would could could leverage in trying to address those even has been digital. Fortunately for us, I mean we have started that exercise the help of Doreen who has been a great supporter, But already trying to see how we could do things differently because we can look at my city, the telecom and the digital environment, it wasn't at the level we expected it to be. So we were in the middle of that exercise, when COVID-19 pandemic actually has come, and so we just have to accelerate that and I don't know the rest of the continent, but probably in in Africa, at least in Niger. There have really been two ministries that have been exposed, being the Ministry of Health, of course and then the telecom sector because all of a sudden, wee are facing in situation where we have to make sure that citizens have access to services as I mentioned. Initially of course access to health care and then all those action taken by the government and also to fight COVID but subsequently to also have access to services that's going to help actually look at some part of the population and get by and we only had telecom or ICT actually to use. So it exposed us big time and it has helped the country really rally behind that idea that we have to connect them connected us as Doreen was mentioning. And we were having so many reasons not to that when we were in the middle of the pandemic and we have no other choice. But to say we have to listen. So it brought on this new era in the country, in terms of mindsets. I must say that for countries like Niger or many African countries, it does help us actually being more ocused on what issues various social citizens and then service delivery to the people wherever they are and then sit under wherever because before the pandemic we're just focusing on the main series, usually in the capital city which have great connection, but the rest of the country wasn’t connected. And now we are all working day and night to try to balance that sort of bridge and balancing it between the major cities and the rest of the country. 

Edward Mishaud 

Thank you Ibrahima. So Doreen, building on what Ibrahima just shared, I think that it goes really into my next question, which from your perspective, what are the different enablers, or shall we say, levers that a government should consider when wanting to use connectivity and digital services to help implement the SDG’s? 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

Well, I love the carpooling analogy, it's very visual for everybody getting on the same bus, I think that's definitely where governments need to be focusing and so we call it the whole of government approach. So it's not viewing connectivity as something that's of scope for just the telecom industry, It's actually looking at connectivity and digital issues that cut across all sectors of the economy and so you know, everybody needs to be in the same car or share the car on the same bus and that's how I think, I think we can get it done. And of course, you know that's the kind of enabling policy and regulatory framework that we need to be driving and if you put in place the right framework, a framework that's agile, a framework that's flexible that will ultimately attract the needed investment. So we estimate half the world not connected as I mentioned, and that would take somewhere in the nature of 400 and close to $30 billion and that's just the infrastructure piece. So how can you attract that investment? Well, the enabling framework is absolutely a critical piece, and of course to get that investment we need to be a bit creative, we need innovative models of financing to attract that investment because without that investment we're not going to have the infrastructure. And of course if you don't have the infrastructure, then we're not going to get the connectivity out there, and we're not going to be able to help achieve those SDG's. I think it's also important to consider issues linked to affordability of services and devices so once you get that that signal out there, you need to make sure that people can actually connect to it and they can connect to it if it's of course affordable. In many countries, affordability is a huge issue on the device and the service side and of course, once you get that device and service out there, you need to make sure people can actually use it, because connectivity is useless unless you actually have the skills to be able to use it in a way that's empowering and life changing. So I think the basic digital literacy and those digital skills are so important i order to be able to leverage the power and the potential of connectivity.   

I think we can't ignore safety and security issues, we've seen a big rise in particular when we look at young people at children that came online during the pandemic, perhaps earlier than their parents would have wanted and so sort of the rise and bullying and harassment is an issue. So again, when we think about the factors to be considered, we have to make sure that we work harder to have a safer cyberspace, a trusted cyberspace. I think that's also critical, and then the other piece that I think that cannot be ignored and Ibrahima touched on this as well it's what do you get with that connectivity? So you have the skills. But what do you get? And that's very focused on the needs of the people going back to Ibrahima’s focus on the people, which I absolutely agree with. So it's the content that communities need and is that content applicable to the needs of the local populations? Is it accessible in local languages so that it can be used in ways that are beneficial? So I think that the content creation piece is also a critical factor, and then of course the last thing I would mention, which might be actually the most important. It's the the commitment. So this is linked to the whole of government approach but before you get there, you actually have to have that political will and that political commitment at the highest level and I do think that the pandemic has helped those of us that have been working in this sector for many many years, and we haven't seen the commitment there. ICT was always at the bottom of the priority list and we're finally seeing that move up to the top and the the political commitment actually being put in place and happening. As we move beyond the pandemic, we need to make sure that it stays as a top priority, because should another pandemic or other disaster hit us, we need to be better prepared than we were this time around. 

Edward Mishaud 

Doreen, you've touched upon an interesting word just now around creativity when you were talking about some of the mindset and also the practical elements that are required for governments, and you mentioned also the the price tag that's attached to ensure like it's global connectivity in in all parts of the world and linked to that you've spoken in the past about collaboration, and I think that's you know an important enabler of connectivity and you you recently said that connectivity is the thread that ties all of the the SDG’s together, can you explain a little bit more what you meant by that? 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

Sure, well, when the SDG's were being debated, there were many of us that argued that connectivity or information communication technologies should actually be a goal in and of itself. We called it SDG 18 some people now call it SDG 0. So sort of the hole in the doughnut that actually links to every single SDG. Whether it would have been a separate goal or not, I think the issue that's pretty clear today is that it is that thread that can tie the whole SDG circle together. I am more and more convinced that it will be impossible to achieve any of the goals unless we find ways to leverage digital technology. So it goes back to closing the digital divide and the other enablers that go with it that will help us to pick up from the time we lost during this pandemic and and really advance and accelerate towards achieving each and every one of the 17 goals and the numerous associated targets. I think it can be done but it can only be done if we collaborate. I think when we look at the cost just on the connectivity piece and the infrastructure, it's not going to be a single government. It's not going to be a single company. It's not going to be a single UN organization. It needs to be all of us really working hand in hand to get it done. And I think this has been an important moment for the UN system as a whole. Of course, we just saw the UN Secretary general launched his common agenda where he highlights the six great divides then he calls them the six grand canions, of course one of those huge divides is is digital and connectivity. And of course he sees that interspersed with the five other divides, one of which is also gender, we could talk a great length about the digital gender gap, which is also something of great concern, but I do think it's an important moment for all stakeholders, including. A civil society academia to come together and figure out you know how can we connect the world so that we ultimately build a shared digital future for all and that the future can be sustainable, and I think it's all about collaboration and strong partnerships. And if I can just briefly mention next year for us is an important year in the EU because we have our World Telecommunications Development Conference that will take place in June 2022, and that's an important conference because it sets out the road map for the next 4 year period, and I think this conference has the potential to go down as a landmark conference for digital development because we've never had such political focus and attention on the connectivity issues, and I think that it's the moment that countries want to move beyond long resolutions and actually focus on concrete actions that will connect the furthest out the last mile and actually bring meaningful connectivity to all. 

Edward Mishaud 

Now I want to come back to that in a second Doreen also because you've talked about, you know the next five years, and I think that's an important looking forward piece. But Ibrahima, I like to to come back to you and just building now on Doreen's point around connectivity and empowering communities you you spoke about it earlier, talked about this acceleration of e-services and also in within even government. Those that in the past were probably not even on board all of a sudden, overnight or in a short timeframe became very much supportive of connectivity and and digital technologies. For citizens so. You know, concretely, what do you see as some of the the tangible benefits that you've experienced in your work in Niger in terms of expanding access to connectivity to communities and to citizens. And as Doreen said, it's ultimately about empowering communities. 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

I mean definitely, it's really empowering, even citizens actually, for that matter. And for us I mean based on what I've indicated before that that's really need to sort of citizens has been what is driving us so what we've been doing is to find a way to reach out to all those communities by bringing connectivity to all these remote places. For example, we have this program called Smart Village to actually speak to really extending infrastructure, you need to have people across you know all over the country actually being committed and being really linked, not only to management of our country but also being linked to the world. And but we have been doing it as long as they get smarter way that's not indicated earlier, corporate has made us smarter and so by pushing roughly to see how we can optimize the little resources that we have and how we can get actually also communities involved. So, we are the way we are addressing that is by empowering those communities, making them really take full ownership of the initiative that we're doing and it's not really the pilot, for example, that we we have running and also in collaboration with ITU, has done that with some people under those villages stuck to the populations understand they really need and then not only when we brought the connectivity and then have services delivered around those needs. The benefits to that, we sure that the connectivity that we're bringing is actually used for the good of the community. So that's not maybe the biggest thing that we have on our agenda if not, I'll call even through digital literacy. What I mean by that is not just to call the capability of being able to be on social media and others. No, it is really to train our citizens so that they can use digital to perform a specific strategy that they want as farmer has to be fully trained in such a way that we can acquire new competencies we can run so we can run the business on the digital world. That's what they mean by making sure that there is really through digital literacy. And from the government side also, we need to do exactly the same for example. Now when we even talk about security, which is a big challenge in in the same region as you know it's one of the first things that come in the conversation in connectivity is also bringing the citizens into the question. So for us that's less of the environment that we're putting in place. Having that connectivity, getting citizens fully engaged and I indicated earlier also that we are very young country, so it has helped us also calculates the landscape for example in educational in education sector. We are now working on bringing digital into education to both primary secondary and higher education so which means beside connectivity itself we're looking at a new curriculum and we're looking at also capacity building, so the curriculum is really being looked at again in such a way that is going to enable most people who will go through it to be able to find employment or to be able to at least set up and create their own business, instead of having them just sitting waiting, you know for a job to come and find them. 

Edward Mishaud 

And I guess just thinking in terms there's so many different different points that we can continue to pack here. But the next question I want to actually pose this to both of you, and Doreen I'll start with you so when we look at the future and what do you see Doreen is some of the big challenge are. You briefly touched upon safety and security, but what other areas do you think that really need to be taken into account as we look forward and and also how do we build that into the the timeline of the SDG’s to bring us to to 2030? 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

So as we think about the future and we think about the challenges, I think it's great to look at the the case that Ibrahima has just presented the case of Niger. They’re the youngest population on the planet and how nature took a challenge and turned it into an opportunity, and I think that's a great example that can be modeled by others, because when we look at connectivity and digital issues, there are huge challenges, but at the same time we can overcome them and turn them into into opportunities. Of course we have last mile connectivity issues and we have situations where of course there's no electricity and how do you get connectivity to those where they don't have electricity? And I think the good news is that we're seeing so much innovation and so many new things coming out of of the sector. New technologies, new low Earth orbiting systems that actually can remove previous technological barriers so that we can bring connectivity to everyone everywhere. I think the challenge about. Financing can't be underestimated. We've recently had work done by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development on 21st century financing. I think we have to do more work in looking at things like universal service funds, universal access funds how can they be used to get connectivity to the unconnected communities? Can we look at expanding the pool of those that contribute to last mile connectivity. Should we be considering creating a sort of international fund? With UNICEF The ITU has this giga program to connect every school in the planet, and in that context we're looking at a connectivity bond, so I think on the financing front business as usual is not going to cut it so, we need to do more because that is a challenge that we have to we have to tackle. 

Edward Mishaud 

And Ibrahima, I think Doreen nicely mapped out some of the challenges, and maybe this question to you, then maybe not on the on the challenges, but what about the additional possibilities that that you see from where you are? Your perspective, and especially if we think of the fact that there is this extremely young population in Niger. So what do you kind of stand out as the most impactful possibilities that we can see through connectivity and digital tools for contributing to the ultimate vision of theSDG’s? 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

Before I answer directly to that question, I mean there is a comment Doreen mentioned that was of interest to me. I don't know if you remember,  there was a young lady from Niger when you met three years or so ago Miss Latifa.  

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

I remember. 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

You remember Latifa, so this young girl was the first winner of the national competition and innovation that we organize in Nigerthat we've organized. Yeah, so she first learned she wanted prizes because at that time we had one private or set aside for female thinking that probably it was going to the competition was going to be run by a boy. And we had it all wrong, so she not only won the national prize, but because overprice that's what they're for. She won both. And then she went around and won the the message Africa. So I think In Niger we learned our lesson really when we said that we say listen, there was no absolutely no reason for us to discriminate because somehow we discriminate without even knowing it and we need to make sure that we bring more girls throughout these calls in many cases actually, they they among the best if not the best. So that really tells you you know the perspective that countries when you give opportunities to both girls or boys, you know they go even further than you can think of. And Latifa for me is a good example and Covid Is a good example of this because during that time we have really seen the potential, that is regional youth.  

So for us really the focus is to making sure that both brains have access to knowledge, they have access to information and then we see that there is really no limit to what they can achieve. Because they are the future of the country, they are the future of the world. So we need to instead of just saying it, we need to really start putting them single, creating the environment for that. 

Edward Mishaud 

Doreen, I'd I'd like to come back to you and maybe just give you then in this sense, the building on what Ibrahima just mentioned. Maybe your last thoughts. 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

I guess I would just sort of stress the importance that the pandemic has had on connectivity. I mean, it took a pandemic to actually make the case for universal affordable connectivity. It took a pandemic to put connectivity at the top of national agendas, and of course it's regrettable that so many people lost their lives that lost their jobs lost opportunities. But this is a moment that we need to capture. And move forward and ensure that everyone has access to lifesaving tech now. 

Edward Mishaud 

And Ibrahima to you. It took a crisis too what, how would you complete that sentence? 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

I’ll say it took a pandemic to make us really realize that the world is a global village. It took a pandemic to really also make us smarter and we see I mean, we were coming back to the fundamentals diverting, but we keep saying that that we've forgotten that we're not practicing, so we should learn our lesson. We shouldn't forget those. 

Edward Mishaud 

And I think also from just thinking from the SDG lab, I think from us it's clear that it took a pandemic to really drive home these essential paradigms of the 2030 agenda. We touched upon collaboration earlier. Doreen you, you talked about that. We talked about innovation, and we've also really talked about integration, Ibrahima to take it back to the different examples that you shared in the share. So I think it's really clear that this hunch that we've had and not only us. But Despite that, the tragedy and the the ongoing to a certain degree trauma that we're still seeing from the pandemic play out that we we do have these these bright spots that are bringing us hopefully closer to the ideals of the 2030 agenda and that we see these distinct contributions to the specific goals like you mentioned, Doreen. So I think that those are some of the takeaways that I'm going to leave from our conversation today, and I really want to thank you both for taking the time for sharing your insights and your knowledge, your ideas and also your enthusiasm. There's so many different ideas that have come forward, so thank you and I wish you all the best. 

Doreen Bogdan-Martin 

Thank you so much. 

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou 

Thank you bye bye. 

Tiffany Verga 

Welcome to the first ‘Spark’! This is a segment of our SDG lab series, where at the end of each episode, we’ll explore inspirational stories related to the conversation to spark further understanding and curiosity. 

Chances are if you are listening to this episode you are part of the 51% of the world’s population that is connected to the internet. From emails to social media to even remote work you are likely just one button or one call away from anyone at any time. However, while this may be your reality half of the world remains totally unconnected. 

Today’s case study will introduce you to a solution that is currently aiming to solve that issue. The Smart Village Blueprint is a pilot project led by the International Telecommunication Union, The Digital Impact Alliance National Agency for Information Society of Niger and Smart Africa. The blueprint is aiming to provide a broadband infrastructure to improve internet access in rural and remote parts of the country and takes on learnings from other experiences setting up, managing and sustaining similar projects globally. What makes this project specifically unique is its adoption of a smart village. 

But what is a smart village? 

A smart village is a community in rural areas that leverages digital connectivity, solutions, and resources for its own development and transformation towards achieving the SDG’s.  

Smart villages such as the community of Niger invites local context into the discussion to build off local strengths and opportunities to develop smart solutions specific to the challenges their communities face. From professionals to students and youth, farmers, women, village leaders and community members, all citizens in a smart village concept are actively involved.  

Rather than taking a top down, siloed organizational approach that promotes rigid decision making, instead this project aims to distribute and integrate decision making and power, a digital approach that is sustainable and adaptable to change. 

To put it simply. Providing connectivity alone to rural areas is only a band aid solution. Strong leadership, political will and citizen centered programs will ensure actual sustainable, inclusive and equitable digital services are achieved.  

Smart Villages sound great, but what do they look like? 

To explain this to you I’m going to take you to Niger to explore what a Network Village Digital Infrastructure could look like under this new blueprint.  

We start off with a centrally managed server which can provide a common platform to manage all different applications used in the smart village and secure access to service owners such as Ministries of health, education, and agriculture as examples. This common platform allows these organizations to easily access and manage their respective applications and reduces maintenance and operational costs. 

This would include a smart village cloud, a low-cost broadband connectivity, local Wi-Fi access point and local village server to cache content daily. From this foundation, rural communities can access the internet to benefit their lives. 

To cut out the technical jargon what this really could look like is hospitals in Niger being able to provide tablets to newly pregnant mothers who are able to receive periodic pregnancy tips and appointment reminders, or for farmers who are able to real time track market prices for subscribed products or track their service utilization. Or for school children to access a mobile school unit with 20 – 40 tablets and a projector run by battery throughout theirs lessons aiding their education. 

While this is a piloted project if successful, this smart village approach has the potential to advance sustainable development not only in remote areas of Niger but globally providing broadband and internet to millions who are currently offline.  

To find out more about this interesting approach check out our show notes where you can read the full blueprint.  

Natalie Alexander 

It takes a global crisis is produced by the UN Library and Archives Geneva and the SDG lab.  

The production team is Edward Mishaud, Marlene Borlant, Evgeniya Altukhova, Tiffany Verga and Natalie Alexnder.   

If you'd like to give us feedback or share your comments, you can email us at SDG hyphen lab at un.org. and don't forget to subscribe, leave us a review or find us @UNOG library on Twitter and UN Library and Archives Geneva on Facebook.   

Evgeniya Altukhova 

Or find us at SDGLab on Twitter, or SDG Lab at UN Geneva on LinkedIn. 

Natalie Alexander 

Thanks for listening.  

Bye for now. 

 

 


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