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5 Ways to Address Global Inequality Using Modern Technology

With the world’s eye shifting towards a more sustainable future, I was inspired by working with some incredible charities to explore the role of technology in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal, Reduced Inequalities.

4 min read


Reduced Inequality UN SDG

Children in the poorest 20% of the world are up to three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday.

Having worked with some truly inspirational charities over the years, (like JustGiving, RSPB and Save The Children), I want to discuss a topic that I can’t quite shake from my mind at the moment;

The UN Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities.

Which is why in this post I’m going to share some examples of technology that’s paving the way to a more sustainable future for all of us, focusing on one of the SDG’s objectives in particular:

By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

For me, achieving the Goal means looking at the innovative emerging technology that’s promising a brighter future in the realms of income, education, health/mental health and social inclusion.

For a more detailed overview of the Reduced Inequalities goal and what individuals, brands and communities can do to reduce inequalities in their respective societies, check out the video below (Shannon O’shea, Programme Specialist, UNICEF).

Reducing the pay gap and creating more equal income

In a move to end wage theft and empower day labourers in countries that have less legislation and monitoring of wage theft, the Jornalera app centres around three main features:

Check-In/Check-Out acts as a modern punch card so workers are able to easily record their working hours.

Reports take information and create a wage theft complaint that can be delivered directly to the Department of Labor.

Alerts are used to leverage the day labour worker community to anonymously warn others of non-paying jobs and unethical employers.

Jornaler Wage Theft App

Creating equal access to health and medical facilities

Luckily for those of us who live in countries that have no free healthcare, American Well have developed a mobile app which dramatically reduces the cost of doctor and hospital visits and is being used less well-off communities to get the medical attention they deserve.

From emergency and urgent care to nutrition and therapy, the Amwell Doctor Visits app connects users to doctors who can offer advice without driving to the nearest hospital or waiting for hours in a queue.

The app is giving communities easier and cheaper access to a potentially life-saving platform.

Ensuring all children have access to basic education

Alison is a non-profit organisation who focus on educational technology and has created the world’s largest free education platform, they pride themselves on providing education for anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The Alison app provides free training courses and qualifications all included in a mobile app for Android devices. With over 13 million people using the app and a huge number of these being in developing countries, the app is changing the lives of millions all around the world.

Alison EdTech App

Supporting those living with mental health issues

What’s Up? Is empowering those suffering from depression and anxiety by helping them to break bad habits and adopt healthy ones, all depending on personal behaviour and the type of mental health support their communities need.

With target setting and progress updates, health and wellbeing contacts, mood tracking and best practice mental wellbeing activities, the app is providing individuals, businesses and communities with a tool that can empower them to lead happier and healthier lives.

Making societies more socially inclusive

A university student from Oxford has leveraged crowdsourcing to develop an app that provides people with disabilities insights into the accessibility of venues throughout the city.

SociAbility empowers social inclusion through better access to information, going beyond the incredibly vague ‘accessible’ and ‘inaccessible’, to provide users with the specifics they need to plan trips to shops, restaurants and attractions.

From the number of steps and width of door frames to the size of bathrooms and seating, the app works so well because it allows the community to share information they find the most useful, not what the developers think is the most useful.

SociAbility Accessible Venue App

What can you do to help reduce global inequality?

Individuals like myself can support these causes by taking actions as simple as sharing ideas and stories from the organisations championing reduced inequalities.

Brands and businesses should be developing mobile apps to ensure they’re providing an equal and ethical environment for their employees and teams.

Governments, councils and international organisations should be looking at the technology and data that can be implemented to create more equality through policies and practices.

Only then will the world be truly ready to take on an issue as large as global inequality.

Published on June 19, 2019, last updated on March 15, 2023

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