• • • 3rd World Development • • •
So often solutions for the poor are unavailable in their local market. Or if available, they are too expensive. Or if afforded, often the skill set to implement the task is reserved for experts. The use of appropriate technology is necessary for legitimate empowerment.
The book of Genesis teaches that God made human beings technological. This means that they are capable of creating tools or techniques that assist them in making their work easier and more efficient. Appropriate technology is contextual, based upon the region of the world where the service is being employed. The three considerations that must be balanced are whether or not the tool or techniques are 1) available, or made available 2) affordable, and 3) duplicable.
The tool or technique must be readily available to those being empowered, or the technology is not appropriate. It should be easy to find in the local market, or the organization must introduce a market for the tools, or education on the technique.
The tool or technique is affordable when the average person in the program area is capable of attaining the tool or technique at a reasonable price relative to their income. This consideration extends to other costs like fuel, batteries, or special maintenance.
If the locals cannot duplicate the task without the organization's presence, then the technology is not appropriate.
The technology or technique presented to the program area should be done so in a way the people can eventually carry on without the organization's help.