Reachable Technology - a possibility to reduce poverty and activate the poor.
It is obvious that increasing income has to be produced by the poor and has to come from inside the society concerned. An examples is the transformation of some East Asian states, which once struggled with widespread poverty, into industrialised countries .
There should be new and additional approaches activating the poor. One of them could be what I propose to call Reachable Technology (RT). It has to start where the poor are, it should offer solutions to their problems and improve the technology from where the target group actually stands.
Reachable Technology should have two effects: first, creating income or improving the economic situation and second, most likely more important, mobilise these people, give them hope and self-confidence. If people realise that there are possibilities to get their basic problems solved, they are likely to act in the other fields too. A similar effect had the alphabetisation method of Paulo Freire in Brazil about 30 years ago.
Many successful NGOs work in this way, by promoting handicraft. But there is a much wider scope, for example: buildings, infrastructure, material production, tools small industry. agriculture....
“Reachable” means, first of all, that the technology is affordable and understandable for the target group.. People must be able to acquire what they need (knowledge and raw material) . So it shall be such that it can be copied by others and must be culturally acceptable for the users of course. Normally it means to scale the technology down and to start with the improvement of traditional solutions, which are however often not well documented and known to the poor or the ones offering help.