The 5Ps Test*
Soledad González, January 20, 2023
The world is facing climate emergencies, biodiversity crises, poverty, social asymmetries, war conflicts, and pandemics. So the world urgently needs everyone’s help to respond to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the five main axes under which they fall: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships.
As part of an organization dedicated to creating digital software solutions aligned with a policy of social responsibility and global development with projects in several countries, I am aware of the role of technology in the 2030 Agenda – towards higher levels of economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social progress. With suitable systems, data and information, we will be able to not only take the pulse of the different realities but also generate valuable insights that will allow us to act on what is (or can be) done by the following 5Ps.
The development indices of a society are directly associated with the dignity, equality, and quality with which its people live. That’s why this pillar encompasses SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 4 (Quality Education), and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).
It has contributed to creating new jobs and optimizing existing ones, looking at the agricultural sector with much more data-driven, efficient and human-friendly practices. In addition, technology improves access to health, with telemedicine applications or software to manage medicine stocks, pension management, health plans, or surveillance and data control in a pandemic context.
It promotes education through e-learning, active citizenship programs, or academies that develop essential digital skills for the future. It also makes social housing, finance, or credit management services more accessible and inclusive.
This axis covers SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).
Technology has helped humans to curb environmental degradation and (re)connect to nature. As former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “There is no planet B.” Hence, the potential of IT has been applied to energy efficiency, the creation of more sustainable materials, and e-waste management.
Drones, RFID chips, and sensors to protect ecosystems make it possible to track the movement of glaciers, the salinity of water, or the migratory patterns of animals. The software also helps manage indicators of natural resources (water, minerals, etc.), sanitation, or greenhouse gas emissions through agile systems monitoring real-time information.
This concept integrates the personal and professional fulfillment of the individual and the economic, social, and technological development of society in harmony with nature. This includes SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).
Information Technologies drive economic development, dignifies human labor (leaving mechanical or dangerous tasks to machines), multiplies opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation, and enable more inclusive industrialization.
Today some tools enable a more holistic view of HR management (‘from hire to retire’), aligned with strategic objectives and facilitating day-to-day work (without unnecessary duplication of efforts and consolidating relevant data in a single platform). We even have data-sharing ecosystems that create conditions for using digital twins to improve the efficiency and intelligence of cities.
But prosperity also means efficiently managing resources and time, so it’s worth talking about the systems that work infrastructure, telecommunications, and shared services like fleets – in which you can track, manage operating costs and security, and monitor the service provided based on customized KPIs.
This point refers to SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. It reminds us how technological solutions can contribute to more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies that ensure universal access to democratized citizenship.
This includes e-government services that bring citizens closer to the State and improve the efficiency of institutions, guaranteeing public access to information. This also includes the rigorous financial management of public money through reliable information systems that make a complete and transparent control of assets and budget execution, public debt management, cooperation management, etc.
This last P refers to the 17th SDG (Partnerships for the Implementation of the Goals) and has at its core the idea that fulfilling the 2030 Agenda depends on everyone’s involvement and mobilization. All countries, stakeholders, and industries must join this spirit of global solidarity, creating strong networks to support inclusion, innovation, and economic development.
The Global Compact Network is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, but there are others. And in all of them, IT can help by monitoring data to make development possible or by addressing the digital skills gap essential in creating innovative systems for local businesses and R&D institutions to leverage positive economic effects.
Many will remember the ‘casting out of nines’ test used to validate the result of arithmetic operations. But the 5P test that this article is about challenges us to do much more than add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It also challenges us to validate the data that are at the origin of all the operations in which lies the key to identifying each country’s strategy, valorizing its assets in the generation of revenues, optimizing the management and control of expenses, promoting environmental sustainability, the economy, and citizenship. This is a highly demanding test for humanity. But it is possible to pass.
*This article was originally published in the 20th edition of newDATAmagazine®.