Quick links:


Main content:

Information and Education, Research and Innovation

People using the Internet
Positive trend

Capacity building also includes the access to information and education. This enables people in analysing problems and influencing politics and markets on the base of solid information as well as choosing options concerning lifestyles. Furthermore, it assists in creating and accelerating new solutions in research and development and thereby shaping our paths to the future.


  • Strengthening education and science along with the role of private business and information technology is emphasized by the UN (United Nations) Agenda 21 and the Millennium Declaration (UN 1992, 30, 35, 36).
  • to ensure that ... children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling, by 2015 (UN 2000, 19.2).
  • The benefits of information and communication technologies shall be available to all (UN 2000, 20.5).

Trend: +

  • About 85% of the children in the South had completed their course of primary school in 2005/2006, and 88% were enrolled in primary school (except countries in conflict or post-conflict situations, for which data is not available). But the attendance in school is lower and late enrolment is very common. Some 25% of children in rural areas of the less developed world did not attend school in 2005/2006. One child in five who was old enough to attend secondary school was, in the global South, still enrolled in primary school. (UN 2008, 12f. [and following page])
      Worldwide literacy rate has risen up to 84% of all adults (UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] 2008).
  • There is still a "digital divide": In the North, 58% of the people had Internet access in 2006, while in the South it was only 11% (increasing; UN 2008, 48).
  • Patent activity shows continuous growth from 1978 to 2002, including environment-related patents (particularly in air and water pollution innovations). Governments of many OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries increased their investment in environmental research and development from 1981 to 2005 (OECD 2008, 59f.)


Draft (2008)

This draft is to be reviewed by experts. Your hints are welcome, please use the contact form.

Photo credit: © FAO/A.