Effective marketing strategies needed for technology adoption
Though many effective and inexpensive technologies can improve human lives in developing countries, lack of proper marketing and reluctance to adopt new things among people are the main barriers to adopting modern technology. Effective marketing strategies on the basis of rigorous behavioral research can bring significant development in combating these impediments, says Dr. Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics, Yale School of Management of Yale University, USA, in a lecture in Dhaka titled Technology Adoption in Developing Countries.
“Eighty percent of the world’s population lives in developing countries. Almost 2.5 billion people live on less than US$ 2.0 per day, while over one billion remain without access to electricity and more than one billion people still defecate in the open. Some challenges for which seemingly simple solutions are readily available continue to cause great harm: indoor air pollution generated from traditional cook-stoves accounts for 22 per cent of communicable child deaths globally. Poor sanitation is estimated to cause 280,000 deaths annually", he mentioned in the lecture.
He also said, effective and inexpensive technologies with the potential to address many of these problems exist, but are often not adopted or used due to traditional reluctance of the people. Devising more effective marketing strategies for these large and growing populations on the basis of rigorous behavioral research is integral to the mission of government and non-government organisations (NGOs)-based policymakers and academic programmes in developing countries.
Professor Mubarak’s lecture was based on a portion of his research agenda, which explores different aspects of these low-adoption problems and their development consequences. Professor Mubarak tests the predictions of microeconimic models of technology adoption and behavior change by implementing large-scale field experiments that involve new technologies.
Dr. Mubarak also co-chairs the Urban Services Initiative at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT, and leads the Bangladesh Research Programme for the International Growth Centre (IGC) at LSE and Oxford University. He is a development economist with interests in environmental issues. He conducts field experiments exploring ways to induce people in developing countries to adopt technologies or behaviors that are likely to be welfare improving. His ongoing research projects are in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, India, Kenya, Nepal and Malawi.
Chaired by Professor Fahad Khalil of IGC Bangladesh and Washington University, Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BIGD, BRAC University delivered the concluding remarks at the lecture and thanked the atendees for their keen ineterest. Amongst others, academics, researchers, representatives from diplomatic missions, INGOS, civil society organisations, students also attended the lecture.