IT experts met at a United Nations gathering in Geneva yesterday to discuss how technology could help reduce poverty.
The meeting was attended by IT staff from industry, non-governmental organisations and government agencies.
The UN's Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), which organised the meeting, said technology could tackle poverty in a number of ways.
Mobile technology held particular potential for developing countries, the UN said.
One of the most important areas is healthcare, with health information systems having the potential to improve care and health providers' productivity. But GAID said developing countries were lagging behind in exploiting the possibilities.
IT could also boost education through distance learning, content creation and delivery, and teacher training.
It could create job opportunities, and empower women by increasing their access to information and improving their ability to participate in the economy.
A spokesperson said, "The objective is to introduce cutting-edge, innovative knowledge, experiences, expertise and best practices to the work of the UN."