This was the major question that I had when I first starting working with Pete and Benny at AIDG a few years back. With the Design for the Other 90% Exhibit making a nice splash in NYC, it’s a question worth asking here.
Why aren’t these technologies more ubiquitous in developing world? Why haven’t they gone the way of the cell phone or the radio or the TV? There was a very promising point in the 1970’s … Given that this is the kind of topic that theses are made of, I’m just going to lay a few plausible hypotheses.
Is it that the tech wasn’t good enough?
It’s the technology, stupid. It just doesn’t meet client standards. One reason solar cookers have had trouble is because they can take longer to cook, the end result just doesn’t taste the way it’s suppose to
ease of use
supplemental or a substitution
(talk about Amy’s work with sugarcane charcoal and their tests to make sure that their formulation works just as well if not better than what people are using now; talk about jiko ceramic cook stoves which are an upgrade from …)
From Mastering the Machine: Poverty, Aid and Technology
The Failure to Learn from Failure
Good but not the killer app designers hoped it would be.
Is it that there wasn’t enough capital to go from prototypes to widescale production?
IDE drip irrigation kits, Kickstart’s Moneymaker pumps, Kenya Jiku Ceramic stoves, We’re the baby of the bunch, but we have had very promising results …