STEM in development: Technical knowledge must meet critical thinking

Scientists work to improve food security in Africa. The application of technology, science and engineering is critical to development work, and more organizations are looking to pull from this pool of talent to provide innovation for global development. Photo by: DFAT Photo Library / CC BY

While economics and statistics might not conjure the  traditional  vision of global development work, both – along with technology, science and engineering – are receiving increased attention as a critical aspect not only of development work, but of filling crucial roles in the workforce and spurring innovation.  

“We’re seeing a need for more economic skills as they relate to more nontraditional areas,” said Arvil Gonzalez, an energy and environmental management and recruitment specialist for Engility. Environmental economics and the ability to calculate the current existence value of a forest as well as its value a few years into the future can provide a greater incentive for conservation, for example.

About the author

  • Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.