What good is a sustainable technology if it isn’t useful to the people in need? This article from Heifer International discusses the rise in technology in the developing world — the advances that have stuck, and those that have not.
The article outlines the great advancements in technology in recent history, in particular the transition from weak land lines to cell phones in Africa. The author goes on to discuss the importance of ingenuity and creativity by those with the skills to create in areas with few technological resources. Finally, he discusses the problems that Westerners may bring to such areas — in particular, the problem with creating solutions for problems that don’t exist.
The goal of the Shelters for All project is to build sustainable housing for those in need. Let’s be sure to attempt to ask ourselves what problems the potential users could have, not the problems we envision they have.