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BRACS: an appropriate technology

Appropriate technology is

technology which, in its creation and use, meets human needs while considering the short- and long-term consequences for the society and the environment. (NSW Board of Studies, 1997: 9)

Appropriate technology recognises that a technological problem is not simply a problem for engineers and other technologists. The solution to the problem needs the participation of the people who will use the technology and the people who will be affected by it.

Appropriate technology values independence and empowerment of the user, because controlling the technology can help to increase skills and build a sense of community. (Community Aid Abroad, 1996: 1)

Consider the mind map below. Explain why BRACS could be described as an appropriate technology.

Community Aid Abroad
(Community Aid Abroad, 1996: 1)


The Centre for Appropriate technology:

  • assists in solving problems with housing, infrastructure or technologies
  • designs new houses and buildings or upgrades to existing ones
  • helps you to choose infrastructure and technologies that suit your community's needs, including power systems, water supply, waste water disposal and others
  • organises appropriate training programs, especially for technical and building projects
  • develops management systems to keep your technologies working well
  • provides information and advice on a range of issues
  • organises conferences and workshops as needed
  • helps communities to plan for technical change, where they live particularly outstations and living areas.

Other useful sites for appropriate technology:

Sustainable design, Centre for Design RMIT


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