Appropriate technology (AT) is a movement based on the idea that the most advanced technology is inappropriate for developing countries and that intermediate technologies based on locally available materials are often better. More specifically, open-source appropriate technology (OSAT) is AT that is designed using the principles of open-source technology, where the designs and generated knowledge are freely available. AT is usually small-scale, decentralized, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and simplified to the point that it can be implemented with local resources and materials. In addition, AT describes a method for providing for human needs with the least impact on the planet’s finite resources, while being socially appropriate for the target region. AT is not a specific system or device, but a method for evaluating a technology and its social, economic, and environmental impact in a specific application.

AT has been applied to a wide range of fields. Some examples include: self-powered water pumps, solar lamps and streetlights, affordable greenhouses, mini wind turbines, passive solar building designs, and solar food driers. Some of the factors used to determine whether a particular technology is appropriate for the intended region and application include: the availability of local materials; level of required maintenance and available expertise; lifetime of the system; negative effects of the manufacture and use on any part of the biosphere; affordability; and open-source availability of designs.

Kadagaya is developing AT in the following fields, with the focus on rural applications in developing countries.

 

Further reading and lists of similar groups

Listing of AT centres

Institute for Sustainable Development, Korea

Agricultural Engineering & Appropriate Technology Research Institute, Uganda

Appropedia 

National Center for Appropriate Technology, USA 

Climate Technology Center and Network 

Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT), California