Appropriate technology is a movement based on the idea that most advanced technology is inappropriate for developing countries and that intermediate technologies based on locally available materials are often better.
At Kadagaya, we are specifically interested in developing open-source appropriate technology (OSAT), 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.
- Sustainable agriculture
- Clean water and sanitation
- Machines and tools
- Waste management and recycling
- Renewable energy
- Technical materials
- Telecommunications and IT
- Health and nutrition
- Social interactions
Further reading and lists of similar groups
Institute for Sustainable Development, Korea
Agricultural Engineering & Appropriate Technology Research Institute, Uganda
National Center for Appropriate Technology, USA
Climate Technology Center and Network
Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT), CaliforniaI