Engineering: Issues Challenges and Opportunities for Development Produced in conjunction with: • World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) • International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS) • International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC)
UNESCO Publishing United Nations Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization
E N G I N E E R I N G : I S S U E S C H A L L E N G E S A N D O P P O R T U N I T I E S F O R D E V E LO P M E N T
Published in 2010 by the United Nations Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France © UNESCO, 2010 All rights reserved. ISBN 978-92-3-104156-3 The ideas and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Cover photos: Drew Corbyn, EWB-UK; Paula West, Australia; ﬂickr garion007ph; Angela Sevin, Flickr; imageafter; Tony Marjoram; SAICE; UKRC; Joe Mulligan, EWB-UK. All full-page images from chapter introduction pages are by kind courtesy of Arup. Typeset and graphic design: Gérard Prosper Cover design: Maro Haas Printed by: UNESCO Printed in France 2
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Advances in engineering have been central to human progress ever since the invention of the wheel. In the past hundred and ﬁfty years in particular, engineering and technology have transformed the world we live in, contributing to signiﬁcantly longer life expectancy and enhanced quality of life for large numbers of the world’s population. Yet improved healthcare, housing, nutrition, transport, communications, and the many other beneﬁts engineering brings are distributed unevenly throughout the world. Millions of people do not have clean drinking water and proper sanitation, they do not have access to a medical centre, they may travel many miles on foot along unmade tracks every day to get to work or school. As we look ahead to 2015, and the fast-approaching deadline for achieving the United Nations’ eight Millennium Development Goals, it is vital that we take the full measure of engineering’s capacity to make a diﬀerence in the developing world.
Containing highly informative and insightful contributions from 120 experts from all over the world, the report gives a new perspective on the very great importance of the engineer’s role in development.
Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
This landmark report on engineering and development is the ﬁrst of its kind to be produced by UNESCO, or indeed by any international organization.
The goal of primary education for all will require that new schools and roads be built, just as improving maternal healthcare will require better and more accessible facilities. Environmental sustainability will require better pollution control, clean technology, and improvements in farming practices. This is why engineering deserves our attention, and why its contribution to development must be acknowledged fully. If engineering’s role is more visible and better understood more people would be attracted to it as a career. Now and in the years to come, we need to ensure that motivated young women and men concerned about problems in the developing world continue to enter the ﬁeld in suﬃcient numbers. It is estimated that some 2.5 million new engineers and technicians will be needed in sub-Saharan Africa alone if that region is to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of improved access to clean water and sanitation. The current economic crisis presents challenges and opportunities for engineeri