The Sustainable Development Goals and Technological Capacity*

Mayer-Foulkes et al.

In order to achieve the Sustainable Development and Health Goals, it is essential to increase the technological capacity of the most disadvantaged populations. In the 21st century, the necessary technologies for this exist. The gap in technological capacity reflects the existence of a technological gradient between large- and small-scale production, due to an absence of incentives for innovation and a lack of technological dissemination in
small businesses and communities. Technological change is central to development, but it is a public good that the market economy does not provide efficiently. Providing it requires the implementation of public policies aimed at technological innovation and dissemination. Reducing the technological gradient is therefore a major part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Pan American Health Organization’s
2018-2030 Sustainable Health Agenda for the Americas. This also applies to the development of health systems, which function as a redistribution mechanism to break poverty traps. In addition, experiences in these systems are relevant to the implementation of policies that increase technological capacities aimed at reducing poverty, improving social determinants of health, and thereby reducing the scale of the human development trap.

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Opinion and analysis