During the Fourth UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) held in New York from 14-15 May 2019, a side event was organised on 13 May 2019 to discuss technology partners for development as well as the challenges and opportunities to build networks to support innovation for sustainable development goals (SDGs). The event was attended by representatives of governments, business, academic, and the UN system. During the event, the Permanent Representative of Denmark Martin Bille Hermann presented the ‘techvelopment’ which was introduced by the Danish government in its humanitarian work and signifies ‘the use of technology for development.’ He highlighted the significance of partnerships and rootedness to boost the benefits of technology and mitigate associated risks. Partnership with the private sector was underscored being a critical partner for development since its responsible for 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To this aim, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) launched a venture capital fund with donors from different sectors to translate the SDGs to the private sector language in order to make them more appealing.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.